Elem. – Arlo: The Lion Who Couldn’t Sleep

Rayner, Catherine. Arlo: The Lion Who Couldn’t Sleep. Peachtree, 2020. $17.99. 978-1-682-63222-2. 32 p. Grades K-2. 

Everyone knows that lions need a lot of sleep. Exhausted Arlo the lion searched high and low for a good place to sleep, but all he finds are faults. “The grass was too prickly and the earth was too hard” while the “sun is too hot and the night is too cold.” Nearing desperation, Arlo encounters an owl who shares her secret song for sleeping through the daytime with less than perfect conditions. Before long, Arlo is using the song to calm his mind and body to fall asleep. Feeling fully rested Arlo is excited to share with his friends whom he awakens in his excitement. Thus, the story repeats for two cycles as the lion helps his friends perfect the technique until everyone is sound asleep. Brief, repetitive text is spread sparsely over the soothing mixed media artwork featuring watercolor, screenprint, acrylic ink, and pencil allowing readers to become absorbed in the mindful message and find stillness.

THOUGHTS: A nice gentle storybook featuring elements of meditation and mindfulness for children. Delightful as a stand-alone story or a good introduction to a breathing, meditation, and mindfulness lesson.

Picture Book          Jackie Fulton, Mt. Lebanon SD