The average human sleeps a total of twenty-four years over a lifetime. That’s a lot of naps! Yet people aren’t the only ones who enjoy a good rest; if you look around, you’ll find that all animals have a biological need for sleep. But some animals snooze in ways that we would find startlingif not absolutely impossible. A sooty tern, an island bird, takes a nap in midair as it slowly flaps its wings. A fruit bat gets forty winks while hanging upside down from a tree branch. A bottlenose dolphin can put half of its brain to sleep while it continues to swim. What other remarkable methods of sleep exist?
Sea otters sleep in a kelp bed, wrapped in rubbery seaweed to keep them in place. Sooty terns sleep in the sky as they fly over tropical seas. Colonies of fruit bats sleep upside-down during the day. Some animals asleep on their stomachs, and some sleep on their backs. Some animals asleep together, like fruit bats, and some sleep all alone. Children, who are famous for being difficult at bedtime, will find the sleeping patterns of animals fascinating. Dreamy illustrations showcase how some of nature's creatures get their 40 winks. Readers will learn that, although sleeping habits are diverse, humans and animals all need sleep to rest their bodies and minds. Not much is known about the sleep of invertebratesanimals without backbones. Research indicates that they seem to have resting periods each day. But no one can say with certainty that clams, worms, etc. really go to sleep. The author has selected an interesting cross-section of animals to feature in this picture book. The text treats this subject with science, humor, and insight. Hopefully, the message about the importance of a good night's sleep will make its mark on the intended audience! 2004, Houghton Mifflin Co, Ages 5 to 9.