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Children's Fiction Bedtime & Dreams

While You Sleep

by (author) Jennifer Maruno

illustrated by Miki Sato

Pajama Press Inc.
Initial publish date
Nov 2022
Bedtime & Dreams, General, Imagination & Play, Stories in Verse
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2022
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 2 to 5
  • Grade: p to k


Breathtaking collage art and exquisite rhyming couplets showcase fantastical dreams as the natural world is prepared for a new day in this gentle bedtime book.

As the day ends and a little girl is put to sleep by her mother, night-helper bunnies work their magic to tidy and polish the world. These helpers paint flowers, dust butterflies, and charge rainbows to make the world a beautiful place to wake up to.

Miki Sato’s collage art, which combines paper, textiles, and embroidery silk, creates a three-dimensional dream world that is rich in detail and texture. Jennifer Maruno uses soothing rhyming couplets that celebrate the beauty of nature, creating a uniquely magical world.

About the authors

Jennifer Maruno began her publishing career with award winning educational materials for The Peel District School Board and the Ontario Ministry of Education. She is one of the authors of Explorations, a mathematics program for Addison-Wesley of Canada, and worked with TVO in developing teaching materials for the television show Mathica's Mathshop. For her contributions to educational writing, she received the Federation of Women Teachers Writing Award, the National Council of Teachers Award of Excellence and The Award of Merit from the National School Public Relations Association. She holds a Masters of Education, Principal's and Primary Specialists certification and is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature and the Humber School of Writers summer program.Her short stories have appeared in a variety of children's magazines in Great Britain, United States and Canada. Born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Jennifer came from a book loving family. She worked as a library helper in the old red brick library on Victoria Avenue while attending Valley Way Public school. Her childhood ambition was to have a book with her name on the spine sitting on the shelf.Her first children's novel, When the Cherry Blossoms Fell won nominations for the Hackmatack and Young Readers of Canada Awards.Educator, researcher and author, Jennifer Maruno knows stories provide much more than entertainment. From the pages of Canadian history, she creates novels empathetic to those who have experienced the darker side of our past. Maruno's understanding of the importance of cultural identity has brought When the Cherry Blossoms Fell, Cherry Blossom Winter and Cherry Blossom Baseball based on the Japanese Internment and Warbird a novel of early Jesuit life among the Huron people.Details of Kid Soldier, Jennifer's fourth novel for children, come from her father's diary. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces under age and set out for England. Enroute Britain declared war. Totem, the story of a boy seeking his identity from the confines of a residential school, was written at a time most necessary to Truth & ReconciliationJennifer lives in Burlington, Ontario with her husband spending her time weeding her David Austin roses, writing and reading to grandchildren.Laurel Keating is an award-winning artist whose illustrations are familiar to Newfoundlanders. With an eye for detail and sympathy for all living things, Laurel brings her characters to life with warmth and humour. Children have delighted in her rich and colourful illustrations in Find Scruncheon and Touton (1 and 2) and Yaffle's Journey and Full Speed Ahead: Errol's Bell Island Adventure. She lives in scenic Portugal Cove, which she has called home all her life.

Jennifer Maruno's profile page

Miki Sato is a Japanese-Canadian illustrator who uses a variety of different textures and materials to create three-dimensional images. Originally from Ottawa, she moved to Toronto to complete her degree in illustration from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Her first picture books are Golden Threads written by Suzanne Del Rizzo and Snow Days written by Deborah Kerbel.


Miki Sato's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for While You Sleep

2022 Foreword Reviews “Book of the Day” (Nov 10th)

CBC Books “40 Canadian picture books to watch for in fall 2022” Feature

2022 CBC Books “20 Canadian books we can’t wait to read in November” Feature

2022 The Children’s Book Council “November: Hot Off the Press” Feature

2022 Oakville News “Top 11 holiday reads for children & adults” Feature

“A peek into the busy Land of Nod….Maruno narrates in flawless and immersive rhyming verse….Readers will linger over each tiny, essential detail—nothing is extraneous….the text and art are expertly stitched together, each visible and impactful on their own and interwoven into a bewitching whole. A perfect bedtime selection for eye-catching, vibrantly colorful dreams.”—Kirkus ★ Starred Review

“[I]nspired and original….While You Sleep casts a magic spell that will help lull little ones to sleep, and might just nudge a sleepy grown-up in that direction, too.”—Quill & Quire ★ Starred Review

“This lovely picture book shows what one parent tells her little one as she’s going to sleep. The text is written in peaceful rhyming couplets, while warmly colored collage illustrations show the tidying up that goes on while people rest…. It’s a cozy, positive bedtime story sure to please parents and children alike.”—School Library Journal

“In rhyming couplets, a caregiver encourages a child…to embrace bedtime so that a crew of bunny helpmeets can begin their work tidying up the world… the textured scenes remix details from the child’s waking life into suitably snuggly dreamscapes.”—Publishers Weekly

“The dreamy, lyrical couplets pair beautifully with the enchanting, lushly layered illustrations….There's much to engage and charm in this whimsical, sweet, and reassuring bedtime read.”—Booklist

“Rhyming couplets create a whimsical melody while the collage art illustrations will captivate children with their colorful layers and textures—until they drift off to sleep to dream of the brand new world they’ll wake up to.”—Foreword Reviews

“Author Jennifer Maruno has tapped into childhood imagination to find this cute story….She has written it in rhyming couplets, which little ones will like. The illustrations by Miki Sato are simply stunning….She fills the backgrounds with terrific details to keep little eyes busy and engaged.”—Manhattan Book Review

“The power of storytelling and its transcendence into the world of dreams are at the center of this enchanting story….The combination of text and art make this book one that should not be missed….Needless to say, this is the perfect bedtime read and a must-have book!...Reviewer Rating: 5”—Children’s Literature

While You Sleep was the most beautiful picture book I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing this year…. The cut paper and mixed media collages evoke a snoozy watercolored world…. It is a fanciful little story that children will likely find peaceful and interesting in equal measure.….Highly Recommended”—CM Magazine

“Infused with wonder and faith in the fantastical, While You Sleep is told is song-like rhyming couplets that rock readers into their own dreamy world, perfectly captured in Miki Sato's ethereal collage art….A book about believing the world could be just a little bit better and more beautiful when we wake, While You Sleep is hopeful and magical.”—Open Book

“Of the three picture books I read this week, While You Sleep might be my favourite…. Each double page spread is a piece of art and brings the story to life…. If you are a parent who reads the same story on repeat, you’ll enjoy this one as Sato creates pages with so much to look at.”—Book Time

“Maruno’s lyrical, rhyming text ebbs and flows from page to page without missing a beat. While You Sleep has the qualities of the great classic bedtime stories like Goodnight Moon…The illustrations are soft and cuddly, soothing and comforting enveloping readers in a warm cozy visual blanket.”—Storytime with Stephanie

“[A] gentle bedtime story by Jennifer Maruno with glorious art by Miki Sato….A reassuring story for little ones.”—The International Educator

“Infused with sweetness and gratitude for a world of natural beauty, While You Sleep will be a great bedtime read and reminder that our world is one to cherish.”—CanLit for LittleCanadians

“5 out of 5 stars….This beautiful book is enchanting! The story sweeps you away into a magical land of dreams…. The collage art is absolutely stunning! I had to stop and stare at each page, looking for all the little details…. perfect for a bedtime book.”—Luminous Libro

“You won’t have to work hard to make the book sound as good as it looks….The rhyming couplets easily drip from the pages in a way that is comforting and soothing. The whole effect is cozy and cuddly (think Goodnight Moon) and your little reader is bound to fall asleep by the time you reach the final sentence.”—Getting Kids Reading

“Soothing playful text and adorable cut out illustrations make for a sweet bedtime read and encourage littles everywhere to close their eyes and recharge.⁠”—Charlotte Offsay (Instagram)

Other titles by Jennifer Maruno

Other titles by Miki Sato