Virpi Kaarina Talvitie, Anna Sofia Urrila, Henna Kaisa Wigren, Kirsi-Marja Zitting: Close Your Eyes, Iris

Why do you have to go to sleep, even if you’re not a bit tired? How do you know you’re sleepy? And what’s the dream spirit?

Author: Anna Sofia Urrila, Henna Kaisa Wigren, Kirsi-Marja Zitting
Illustrator: Virpi Kaarina Talvitie
Finnish original: Silmät kiinni, Silmu
Publisher: S&S, 2019
Genre: Illustrated Children’s Fiction
Number of pages: 42 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English translation

Iris is cross. She’s in the middle of a game, and her mother, tired out by the baby, is angrily telling her to go to bed. Why are grown-ups allowed to stay up later? Why do you have to go to bed if you’re not tired? And why doesn’t sleep come anyway? Who on earth is the Sandman?

Her dreams take Iris with them into the forest, to a farm, under the water and finally to the mountains. At that point the dream becomes a little frightening when Iris meets a dream spirit suffering from insomnia! Fortunately, when Iris wakes up in the morning everything is back to normal. Even her mother is more cheerful.

Close your Eyes, Iris is an easy-to-read book about the fascinating and still largely unknown world of sleep. Many exciting aspects of sleep receive a child-level explanation which will also interest adult readers: how do fish sleep? And what about jellyfish, which don’t have brains or eyes? How can bears sleep all winter? How do sleep and sleeplessness affect the human brain, nervous system and cells? Why is it sometimes really difficult to wake up?

About the authors:
Talvitie, Urrila, Wigren, Zitting