Children sleep. Grown-ups sleep. Animals sleep. And the seasons of the year sleep too.
Sisters Haddy Jatou N'jie and Lisa Aisato have long wanted to create a picture-book together. A goodnight book about the seasons of the year as they sleep and waken to life again. A goodnight book to read at bedtime, all year round.
'Turning the pages of this lovely book is like returning to childhood’s best and strongest children’s books memories ... Through a combination of line drawing and watercolour, Lisa Aisato conjures up her characteristic pictures, with strong, evocative effects.'
'Exceptionally beautiful picture book from sisters Haddy N’jie and Lisa Aisato – who for the first time have combined their forces together ... The idea is just as simple as it is original, not to mention genial. The child’s sleep is connected with the seasons. To the spring who sleeps during the winter, the summer who sleeps during the spring, and so on, until the circle is closed and all the seasons have slept and come back to life ... What truly makes this book an exceptional experience for both children and adults are Lisa Aisato’s strikingly beautiful illustrations ... It is also liberating to see many different skin and hair colours. The book is dazzling, and not whitewashed – like the majority of Norwegian children’s books like to present their characters. The children and characters in Snart sover du have European, Asian and African characteristics. It is universal, not politically correct.'
'Can something be both enticing and soporific at once? Yes, the goodnight-book by sisters Haddy Njie and Lisa Aisato offers a perfect combination. ... Snart sover du. One Year’s Good Night is a magnificent picture book. Magnificent because the colours almost burst out from the pages. ... The choice to follow one year is simple, but works well nonetheless. The year’s fluctuations will of course always repeat, the way day alternates with night that alternates with day. The steady rhythm is mesmerizing, almost hypnotic ... Lisa Aisato’s illustrations, which to a greater extent than the words carry the book, fill the pages with clear, bright colours. ... Snart sover du. One Year’s Good Night does not present one story, about one child. This is the great story, the wheel in which we are all spokes, and which rolls and rolls, again and again. ... This is an “applied book” in the best sense of the term, a book that could certainly become a classic by many a bedside.'
'The book is a goodnight story with a set structure through four seasons that are personified with a magical sumptuousness. Each season has its own unique personality, but the structure is the same in each season’s four double-sided pages ... The same tight structure can be found both in the pictures and the text. They support each other well in their baroque exuberance ... The text is pure and consistently implemented ... Through her books, Aisato has shown that she has a wide range of imagery; where the timid and pale, the wide-eyed marvellers, the grotesque, the passionate are among the extremes. In this book, she goes even further than before in celebrating the strong, maximalist colours.'
'For the first time, the two skilled artists Haddy Njie and Lisa Aisato have come together to create a book: Snart sover du. The result is extraordinary. Beautiful, colourful, lively illustrations, combined with a seemingly simple, yet all the more poetic, text – originally lyrics – in rhyme ... The images depict the personified seasons in beautiful, most often very colourful, seasonally typical landscapes, with flowers and leaves, insects and people, rain and snow. Every time the refrain is repeated, we see a sleeping child, four lovely representations of a colourful Norway. The images stand well even by themselves – without the text. In interviews, Lisa Aisato and Haddy Njie have said that it took several years from when they first got the idea to when they actually made the book. Hope we don’t have to wait as long for their next collaboration!'
'...both a vibrant and truly beautiful picture book. I know that, as a child, I would have loved this book. Just as I loved Blomsterfesten, illustrated by Elsa Beskow, in which nature is personified and can shine in all its magnificence. Aisato and Njie’s combined artistic expression calls forth both nature’s and life’s power and vulnerability, united in something so natural and wondrous as sleep. I am absolutely certain that this both sensual and hypnotic picture book will become a favourite for thousands of children.'
'This is a night-time book about the seasons that sleep and wake up, designed to be read by the bedside with a gentle, rhythmic language, and fairy tale images to dream about ... Lisa Aisato has room for the playful and jubilant, as on the cover of the book, but also the quieter and more contemplative moods are a key element ... Haddy Njie has found a nice combination between the colourful and the unobtrusive in her text. The texts, which appear as small poems in rhyme, are not in themselves sensational, but work well to create an overall mood.'
'Beautiful is the description I turn to when I see and read the picture book Snart sover du, created by sisters Haddy Njie and Lisa Aisato ... Expressive, colourful images that function as stories in themselves. A good book, plain and simple. That even now already arises as a candidate for the year’s most beautiful book.'