Going to Sleep on the Farm

Going to Sleep on the Farm“How does a cow go to sleep — tell me how?  How does a cow go to sleep?”

By the time its pages are half through, Mary’s eyes are drooping.  It seems that the effect of saying “go to sleep” over enough times induces actual sleep on the part of a tired toddler—not to mention the yawns that Daddy is doing his best to suppress as he reads!

Going to Sleep on the Farm is one of our 18-month-old daughter Mary Kate’s favorite books. Juan Wijngaard’s pictures are muted and restful—you can get lost in the little details of the simple barnyard scenes.  Wendy Cheyette Lewison’s storyline is even simpler, being mostly repetition.

But in the slow cadence of reciting how each animal goes to sleep, everyone is calmed down for bedtime.  And on each page, it shows the little boy putting his little toy animals away in a box as his daddy tells him how the animal goes to sleep—with a picture opposite showing the real farm animal nestled down in the roost or in the pig sty.

I don’t know if the 1992 Going to Sleep on the Farm will be a longstanding classic the world over, but I know it will be a forever favorite here in this little farmhouse.

“A cow lies down in the soft, sweet hay, in a cozy barn, at the end of the day.

And that’s how a cow goes to sleep — Moo-moo.  That’s how a cow goes to sleep.”

(from the first pages of Going to Sleep on the Farm)

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  1. My daughter is 7 and we’ve been reading this on and off for 3 years. it is still a huge favorite of both of ours! I often find myself singing it as much as reading and she loves reading it as well! What an amazing book.

  2. I often pick up books at thrift stores and antique shops (my husband and I have a tradition of antique shopping that started on our honeymoon!) and I love to have a list of books to look for. Will definitely put this one down…

  3. If you enjoyed the illustrations, you might enjoy Cloud Tea Monkeys when the girls are a bit older. It’s the same guy (Juan Wijngaard) and they are absolutely beautiful, so rich and full of colour and detail, unlike some children’s books. My daughter loved it! The story is enjoyable too, but I thought the book was worth buying just for the pictures.

  4. I found that book at the thriftstore a couple months ago and my 23 month little boy loves it. My husband and I have a dairy farm so I think he enjoys seeing the pictures of animals that he sees on a daily basis. Glad your family likes it.