Author: Kimiko Kajikawa

24 to 35 Months Concept

Sweet Dreams: How Animals Sleep features simple, rhyming text and exciting facts about the sleeping habits of different animals. Reading this book is a great way for you and your child to explore the importance of sleep to keep our bodies healthy, and to help build basic pre-reading skills like oral language.

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Take your child on a picture walk. As you peek at the photographs of sleeping animals, engage your child in a conversation about the benefits of sleeping. You might ask the following questions:

Why do animals sleep?

Why do we sleep?

Why is sleep so important for our growing bodies?

Phonological Awareness

As you read the simple text, bring special attention to the number of syllables in the animal names throughout the story. Play the Clap it Slowly game.

Listen as I say it slow…ly. Ko…a…la

Can you clap it slow…ly? Ko…a…la

How many times did you clap? That’s right! You clapped three times.

Koala has three parts or three syllables.

(Continue with more examples: o…rang…u...tan, li…on, hip…po, fla…min…go, and chip…munk)

At this age, you can just expose your child to the concept of syllables. Don’t expect her to understand or master the concept. It will take many repetitions and much successful practice before she truly understands.

Oral Language

Help your child make a personal connection to the story. You might ask the following questions:

How do you like to sleep?

What sounds do you think you make when you sleep?

What is funny about the way you sleep?


Explore more recommended children's books for two-year-olds, or find an at-home activity to help build important pre-reading skills