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Children's Fiction General

How Sleep Found Tabitha

by (author) Maggie De Vries

illustrated by Sheena Lott

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2002
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2002
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 0 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2
  • Reading age: 4 to 8


Snug in her bed, Tabitha waits and searches and listens for sleep. Her bed is cozy. Her room is dark and quiet. Her favorite things surround her. She should be able to drift off to sleep with no trouble, but something is missing. What could it be? Tabitha's imagination takes over. One by one, the things that she cherishes offer to help her. Will the whale lull her to sleep? Can the eagle carry her to dreamland? Or the horse? The frog? The rabbit? One by one, Tabitha considers and then rejects their aid. Sleep comes in the end, as it often does, from an unexpecteded place.

About the authors

MAGGIE DEVRIES’s latest novel, Hunger Journeys, won the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and was called “historical fiction at its best” by CM Magazine. She has written eight other works for young readers, as well as one book for adults, Missing Sarah. A former children’s book editor and writer-in-residence for the Vancouver Public Library, she now focuses on teaching creative writing at the University of British Columbia and on her own writing.


Maggie De Vries' profile page

Sheena enjoys a very successful 20-year career as a professional artist.

She has illustrated 9 successful children's books including How Sleep Found Tabitha, Going To The Fair and the perennial bestseller, Jessie's Island. Salmon Forest, written by Dr David Suzuki and Sara Ellis was released last spring. She won The Science in Society National book award and has been short listed for the BC Book Prize as well as the Amelia Francis Illustrators Award. Sheena has been featured on CBC radio as well as CH television.

This busy artist is best known for her crisp, colourful watercolors and oils . She combines gallery exhibitions, children's book illustration, and private commissions. She has been invited to teach workshops on the new Queen Mary 2. She has been an Artist in Residence in many school districts and has toured for Canadian Children's Book Center Book Week.
Sheena has exhibited paintings at the Winchester Galleries, The Harrison Gallery in West Vancouver, Quan-Scheider Gallery, Toronto, Pegasus Gallery, The Chateau Whistler, Harbour Gallery, Washington US, and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria .
She has won many awards including the Myfanwy Pavelic Spencer Award. She is an Associate of The Federation Of Canadian Artists. Sheena has been featured on CBC radio as well as CH television.

Sheena has participated in many exhibitions across Canada and in the US. Her work can be found in corporate and private collections throughout the world including: Shell Oil, Chapters Canada, The National Trust Corporation, and the Vancouver Public Library.

She works from her home studio in Sidney on Vancouver Island BC. Her website is

Sheena is available to do watercolour workshops [all materials provided] and lecture/presentations on the process of children's book illustration. Please contact the artist at for more info and fee schedule.

Sheena Lott's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice
  • Short-listed, BC Book Prize - Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize nominee

Editorial Reviews

"The child's imaginative play is beautifully expressed in the combination of the wild and the cozy . . ."


"Parents - and, with any luck, young children - will delight in the idea of sleep by the end of this beautifully illustrated story."

Canadian Living

"An engaging blend of whimsy and thoughtful reflection, this tale convincingly assures sleep-wary tots that their cozy beds are just the spot for them."

"The watercolor illustrations are gracefully executed, artfully capturing both the luminescent beauty of the young child and offering stunning images of the different wildlife."

Kirkus Review

" . . . illustrations. . . set a tranquil mood for dreamland in this gentle, sleepy-time book."

"Any child who has trouble falling asleep will enjoy and find comfort in this bedtime story."


Library Talk

". . . this is a lovely book, enjoyable on several levels and sure to become a bedtime favourite."

Quill & Quire

" . . . a quiet, gentle bedtime story."

"The illustrations are soft and Tabitha is portrayed as a lively, inquisitive little girl."

Resource Links

"It is a . . . sort of story that children will want to hear read again and again."

" . . . vibrant watercolours bring the small insomniac and her surroundings to life perfectly."

"Young listeners will certainly enjoy the rhymes and the surprise ending."

CM Magazine

"B.C. artist Sheena Lott brings the story to life with her ingenious watercolour illustrations."

"The gorgeously rendered pictures look watery and dreamlike. They make the tale as eye-catching as it is rib-tickling. Be warned: After you read this book you might be giggling too hard for sleep to find you."

The Vancouver Sun

Other titles by Maggie De Vries

Other titles by Sheena Lott