Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Sleeping Porch

The Sleeping Porch

Ian Wallace
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Groundwood Books, 2008   ISBN: 978-0888998262

It is a very hot summer night and Brando and his parents decide to sleep on the sleeping porch "hoping to catch a hint of a breeze." Though it is "hot enough to wake the dead" the family is able to nod off, but at around midnight Brando wakes up and he sees a ghostly looking cat jump through one of the porch screens. The cat explains that it has been asleep for one hundred and thirty-four years - since the days of the War of 1812 - and then it invites Brando to go with him. And so the boy and the ghost cat dive out into the night sky.

Together the companions fly above the nearby cemetery and over the sleeping city. They sail out into space and Brando does a back flip through the rings of Saturn. On they go to the cold ice floes of the North Pole where they sit on an iceberg and where the cat tells Brando the story of life, and his death.

In this special book, pictures infused with shadowy and dreamy blues and greens capture the magic of Brando's summer night adventure, perfectly complimenting the text. The atmosphere of wonder, magic, and dreamscapes is tantalizing and readers might find themselves wishing that they too could fly to northern climes where cool icebergs float and whales cavort.