Zeki Rise and Shine & Zeki Sleep Tight

by | Mar 29, 2023 | Book Review, Fiction, Picture Book

Zeki rise and shine_Zeki sleep tight (covers)

Book Details

Zeki Rise and Shine & Zeki Sleep Tight
Anna McQuinn Dance, illus. Ruth Hearson. London: Alanna Max, pb. 978 1 9078 2543 9, 2022, £7.99, 20pp.
Fiction, picture book, 1-3 years

The two newest titles in the Zeki series are simple, small delights that invite readers into the life of one much-loved little boy.

Author Anna Quinn brings her trademark poetic use of language and visual sensitivity to the prose. In Zeki Rise and Shine, the morning starts beautifully as Mum opens the curtains: ‘With a swish, the lemon-yellow sun sparkles in’ and this is echoed in Zeki Sleep Tight with the lines, ‘With a swish, it is dusk, and the room is hushed’.

The illustrations bring to life the warmth, security, love and fun that make Zeki happy. There’s a delightful focus on body language, with lots of hugs depicted and an overall sense of affection and relaxation throughout both books. We see Zeki as he lounges, sprawls, snuggles, swings and slurps, safely and tenderly cared for night and day. Illustrator Ruth Hearson perfectly captures the poses of a baby on the move, curled up in his cot, lying on his dad’s tummy or safe in his mother’s arms. The stories show everyday moments of routine, from bathtime to breakfast time, offering talking points for little readers.

The small, square format of these books with their softly rounded corners makes a refreshing change for little hands. The two latest titles in the Zeki series are little gems that reflect things that matter deeply to the very smallest children: routine, physical affection and knowing that we are loved.


Review by Kate Lee