Good Night, Ivy Bright
Ford Street, 2021
32pp., pbk., RRP $A16.99
Ivy couldn’t get to sleep; her mind was burning bright.
I’m done with counting sheep, she thought, I’ll paint my dreams tonight.
So using her favourite paintbrush she sprinkles blue and yellow together and sets sail on a sea of green, painting all sorts of wondrous creatures from the depths of the ocean and her imagination. But when she paints a whale, she runs out of purple before she can give it a tail. Determined not to leave it tailless, she goes on a new journey in search of the elusive purple, discovering so many other colour combinations as she does.
Told in rhyme, this is a story as vibrant as Andrew Plant’s illustrations that will appeal to so many young readers. Many of them will recognise those nights when their mind is so full of the day that has been or the one to come that sleep doesn’t come even though they know they need to drift off, so suggesting that they paint their dreams is one way to focus their imagination and calm their thoughts. They could even think about who plays the role of the sensible, calming moose in their lives as they breathe deeply.
With teachers’ notes available, this is one that opens up lots of opportunities to discuss the need for sleep, the exploration of colour and its combinations, and the development of calm strategies as well as the literary and artistic aspects.