Author: Udo Weigelt
Illustrated by: Sibylle Heusser
Translated by: J. Alison James
Published by: North-South Books
Ages: 3 – 7 years
Theme: friendship, sleep, dreams, loneliness
Opening Lines: Every night when the Sandman came home from dusting the eyes of people with sleep, he would make himself a cup of tea, sit in his big chair, and read. Sometimes he looked out through the clouds and watched the sun come up. When the sunlight crossed his room, he put his things away and went to bed.
Synopsis: Every night when the Sandman finishes sprinkling his sleeping sand one everyone, he comes home and watches the sunrise. But one morning, the Sandman realizes he is lonely. He needs to find a friend. He starts looking, but quickly discovers that everyone – children, animals, even the fish in the ocean – falls fast asleep as soon as he arrives. The Sandman sadly realises he can’t bear to be without one.
There is someone who is never sleepy, someone who would be the perfect friend – if only the Sandman can find her!
Why I like this: I bought home five books from the library, and when I realised this would be the last PPBF for a while I quickly chose this one to share. I felt a special connection as it reminded me of when I first started just over a couple of years ago joining a forum and Facebook, chatting to friends was hard to get used to as with time zone it meant they were all sleeping on the other side of the globe when you were ready to chat. After time one learns to adjust.
This beautiful book in full pages of rich wispy illustrations by Sibylle, is a delightfully quiet story, even when we follow the Sandman in his adventure to find a friend, after realising how lonely he is. ( This is a mythical character of folklore.) I felt for him when he sat down and started to cry because everyone he met suddenly fell asleep and there was no one around to chat. I also cheered for him in the end and so will you when you realise there is a friend who has been there all along if only he had looked, and she had been waiting and watching. Can you guess who that is?
Like the Sandman we can all connect with a special friend, no matter where we are, the world is not so big. You just need to look, and it takes consideration and understanding.
This would also make a great bedtime story.
German born Udo studied business and graphic design and worked as a mechanic. He has penned many books both children and adults for North-South.
Sibylle studied scientific illustration at the Academy of Arts in Zurich Switzerland where she now lives as a freelance artist. This was her first book for North-South.
Resources/Findings: I couldn’t find any resources directly connected with this book but I can imagine discussions on dreams and getting children to draw either what they dreamed or think a dream is, would be an interesting concept. Maybe have someone dress as a wizard or fairy to give the illusion of dreams, casting spells or making wishes. Kids would delight in writing their own stories of what they wish for or anticipate what the future will be like in their eyes.
Some links I did find for creative art from emotions to fireworks, is this wonderful website…. http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/art/contents.htm
And if you are in the mood for some craft ideas this is a lovely website for kids…. http://crafts.kaboose.com/
This is an interesting website of Mentors helping kids from low-income families in Minneapolis. http://www.artbuddies.org/ I like that they have a parade afterwards.
For more books with resources please visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors.