Zeki Rise and Shine and Zeki Sleep Tight – two new books for babies by Anna McQuinn and Ruth Hearson

A double helping of Zeki is hugely welcome and these two delightful new books published by Alanna Max perfectly start and end the day for little ones. They encompass the family rituals familiar to many and are wonderful for encouraging early learning and talk too. Perfect little packages created with care.

Zeki Rise and Shine

It is morning and as Zeki wakes in his cot his mummy pulls back the curtains and the sun shines in beckoning the baby to start his day. We bounce along with Zeki as he shakes himself and his cereal, munches and splashes, wriggles and shimmies making the most of the sights, sounds and sensations of his busy day. Zeki is loved and secure, involved and happy throughout this celebration of family routine and togetherness.

Repeated readings of this book have highlighted the care and consideration that has gone into the detail. Each time I look notice more. The text, perfect to read aloud, is lush evoking the sounds and sensations the baby is experiencing. “He munches on crunchies. He sips zingy juice.” The joyful illustrations contain detail for young children to identify enabling vocabulary learning. Some elements in the pictures are repeated prompting recognition; the sun in Zeki’s book and hanging from the cot, the toy rooster on the window sill and on the logo on the Daddy’s cereal box. There is humour also as the crocodile on Zeki’s bib looks as though he wants to share breakfast. Eagle eyed readers may spot the little seahorse who features in the other Zeki books too.

Zeki Sleep Tight

Perfectly complementing Zeki Rise and Shine this comforting book encourages a slower read and gentle moments as Zeki settles down to sleep. Sipping warm milk, a bath time soak, a snuggly towel and sleep suit, a quiet story then hushed and cosy Zeki winds down and rests surrounded by his favourite toys. The tone and feel of this second book is calm, reassuring and just like the morning version full of family love and care.

The language again evokes both the mood and the sensory experience of the bedtime rituals families with small children know and share. The choice of words such as “dreamy cream” and “snuggly hug” are perfect for calming toddlers as they listen to this read aloud. The text uses tools such assonance and alliteration to give this story a lyrical feel almost like a lullaby. It’s beautifully done. The illustrations work in harmony with the text adding much to the enjoyment. Just a few examples are sleeping sheep on Zeki’s sleep suit, a dozing bear on a book cover, a sloth on the bedside cabinet echoing Zeki’s shape nestled on his daddy. The detail is wonderful and there is much to recognise and talk about within this little book.

Both Zeki Rise and Shine and Zeki Sleep Tight are produced in sturdy card with rounded corners perfect for small hands. These titles are published in October and come highly recommended for both Early Years settings and new parents. I would like to thank the publishers, Alanna Max for my review copies.

If these books appeal you may also like to try another in this wonderful series, Zeki Loves Mummy.

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9 Responses to Zeki Rise and Shine and Zeki Sleep Tight – two new books for babies by Anna McQuinn and Ruth Hearson

  1. These two books look and sound like a perfect package, have noted the titles for future purchase. Thank you Anne 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. alibrarylady says:

    Thank you, Helen. I’ve included your project in my weekly Reading Matters newsletter before but had missed this webinar. I will try to include a link in this week’s edition which will go live tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Reading Matters – children’s book news | Library Lady

  4. Wonderful illustrations and sample phrases hold so much joy!

    Liked by 1 person

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