Sailing Off to Sleep

Written by Linda Ashman, Illustrated by Susan Winter
Simon & Schuster, 2002. Hardcover: 978-0689829710; Paperback: 978-1442414358

Reviews & Honors

An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award

“A splendid bedtime fantasy.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A rhyming bedtime ritual told in the voices of a parent and a child. Smooth sailing to dreamland.” —School Library Journal

“A warm and loving bedtime tale for parent and child, this book is soothing to the eye as well as the heart. A little girl who is reluctant at bedtime tells her mother that rather than sleep she’ll go sailing. Her imaginary journey to the North Pole brings her back home to mom for a cuddle and a good night kiss before she sails off to sleep.” —Children’s Literature

About this Story

It’s nighttime, my little one.
Climb into bed.

I don’t want to sleep.
I’ll go sailing instead.

There’s only one problem:
Your ship has no sail.

I’m tying my boat
to the tail of a whale.

The first few lines of this book came to me while rocking Jackson in the middle of the night soon after he was born. It was wintertime, and a bit chilly — even in Los Angeles — so my thoughts drifted to icy places and polar bears. And, of course, I really wanted him to sleep so I could get some sleep! Recently I realized the book has a rocking-chair rhythm to it, owing, no doubt, to all the time we spent together in that chair.

I love Susan Winter’s gorgeous paintings for this book, and only wish I could curl up with that polar bear myself.