Arlo, The Lion Who Couldn't Sleep

Publisher: Macmillan

Poor Arlo the lion is very tired but just can’t get to sleep: it’s too cold at night, his family – though warm – are too wriggly to cuddle up to, and the ground is too scratchy. Desperate for some rest, Arlo meets Owl who sings him to sleep with a special, relaxing song. Arlo wakes feeling refreshed and ready to take on his lionish duties for the day, but wakes Owl from her sleep. Fortunately, Arlo now knows a new song that will help…

A perfect bedtime book, Arlo, The Lion Who Couldn’t Sleep is tenderly illustrated in watercolour as always by Rayner, giving readers gentle pages to fall into and inspire soft, reassuring dreams. Arlo himself is a cuddly, relatable lion we’d all like to snuggle next to, and Owl’s song – repeated twice in the book for maximum bedtime lulling effect – guides children through a gentle relaxation process of stretching and wriggling before settling down to dream. As well as Rayner’s stunning artwork, there’s the reminder that, in the animal world, some creatures are awake in the day and some at night: a useful talking point for parents explaining why we need to sleep at night and help get little ones into a routine if needed.

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