May We Sleep Here Tonight?
Tan Koide (author), Yasuko Koide (illustrator)
1982

This is a “retro reads” book because it is 20 years old! It has been reissued with slightly adapted cover art (as of 2000), so it is still available. Since this is apparently Picture Book Month (who knew?!), I thought I’d highlight some oldies, but goodies. This is a great place to start because May We Sleep Here Tonight is not as well known as some others. It’s not a major award winner or terribly progressive or overtly educational.

It IS gentle and beautiful. A Japanese husband-wife team wrote and illustrated this charming picture book (you’ll notice Japanese words in the pictures). It strikes the perfect balance between suspense and reassuring for young children. Small animals are lost in the woods and find shelter in a stranger’s house. The stranger returns and there is some initial question about this stranger’s benevolence….

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