Friday, 4 April 2014

Dad! I can't sleep

Author                            : Michael Foreman
Age range recommended : 3-7
Theme                           : Sleep time, counting, animals

Opening lines –  
Little Panda couldn’t sleep. “Mum!” he called. “Can I have a drink?”

Mum said, “Its your turn, Dad. I’ve done enough today.”

Dad took Little Panda a drink, kissed him goodnight and went downstairs.

“Dad!” called Little Panda. “I still can’t sleep. Can I have another drink?” 

Introduction and Synopsis –
Little Panda keeps calling out to Dad as he is bored and unable to sleep. Dad suggests counting sheep, but he is soon bored of that too. On Dad’s suggestion, he counts varied animals –cows, pigs, elephants, rhinos and hippos – he counts all the way to hundreds and thousands to zillions, but he still cant sleep! When a harried dad answers Little Panda’s call one last time and goes up to his room, Dad is in for a ….. surprise?

Why did my caterpillar and I like this book?

ME -
It’s an adorable bed-time story. Every parent and child can identify with the story.  The big surprise in the last pull out page is delightful and something that you can’t really see coming. Children will surely like it. I also liked the inclusion of Dad in everyday chores which the author has thoughtfully put in. He tries to drive home the point to little ones that mommy might not show it, but she is famished at the end of the day and looks forward to put up her feet. There is a touch of adventure in the mention of a number of animals, including different types of dinosaurs (diplodocus, stegosaurus, pterodactyl) which is exciting to children. The idea of the little panda counting upto zillions, in his attempt to fall asleep, is humorous.

It is incredibly funny to me that A identified herself with the Little Panda so much. If she isn’t sleepy, she would call us a number of times on some pretext or other (the most repetitive one is asking for water, again just like the little one in the book!). She seemed interested trying to find a remedy in the book herself, though the idea of counting sheep didn’t really appeal to her. Haha! (Seriously, does it ever work?) She liked the illustrations of the different animals in the book and absolutely loved the huge pull-out in the end.

Online link -

We did not find any online video link for the story.

Michael Foreman is a British author and illustrator, a very well-known creator of children’s books.  His style of luminous water colour washes is seen in this book. He has also illustrated many childrens’ books as well and has won a number of prestigious awards.

The cocoon rates it -


Though the author is well known for his illustrations, we were not very impressed with the ones in this book. Too many animals and too many numbers can be a little confusing to very little children. But the big pull-out page at the end, with very interesting contents in it make this book enjoyable. We recommend especially for the 4-6 category.


  1. :))) There is an online video too - check youtube -

  2. The illustrations look adorable!