We can all remember our first sleepover and this delightful picture book easily took me back to my own sleepovers as a child. Whether it be going to a friend’s house or a friend coming over, hanging out with a friend for the night is a big deal and should be a very exciting time. But when things don’t quite work out as planned it can quickly turn into a disaster.
Ramona’s friend Gracie is coming to stay the night. It’s their first sleepover and Ramona has been busily planning all of the things they are going to do; build a den, read stories, dance, play games, stay up all night and of course, have a midnight feast. It will be the best sleepover in history.
But when Gracie arrives she is fussy, demanding and nothing goes to plan. With a friendship hanging in the balance, will mum be able to stop the girls from having the worst sleepover in the world…
Bang-on-point, Sophie Dahl’s second children’s book perfectly captures the high and lows of friendship and a significant event in any child’s life, the first sleepover. The events that unfold, both in the lead up to and during the sleepover, will ring true with children and their parents.
The Worst Sleepover in the World is a great deal of fun and an incredibly accurate depiction of the good and the bad of having a friend stay the night. The excitement in planning all of the things to do, the problems when nothing goes as planned and the exasperated parent having to step in to fix things.
It’s not until you step into someone else’s home that you really know how different another person’s life is to yours and lots of little differences can soon add up to make being away from the comfort of one’s own home very challenging indeed. This is exactly what happens with Gracie who struggles with being somewhere new, having different routines and being with people who don’t know her likes and dislikes. Ramona and her younger sister Ruby have an equally hard time as they find Gracie’s demanding nature and endless requests very difficult to deal with. Fortunately, mum has plenty of ideas, solutions and the necessary patience to ensure that friendships are not ruined and that everyone can get a good night’s sleep.
The action plays out in colourful illustrations and I love the facial expressions that leave readers in no doubt as to how everyone is feeling. The smiles and excitement quickly turning into concern, worry and tears as the trials and tribulations of a sleepover become too much for all. Thankfully, by the end, everyone is happy and is hungry for breakfast pancakes, there’s even talk of Gracie coming back to stay again.
With huge thanks to Walker Books for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 4+.