Jennifer Maruno

My writing career has three distinct parts, DREAMER, DABBLER and DETERMINED AUTHOR. Just like the tortoise in Aesop’s fable, it wasn’t until I almost reached the finish line, that I realized how much I wanted to write.

While You Sleep

While You Sleep

Breathtaking collage art and exquisite rhyming couplets showcase fantastical dreams as the natural world is prepared for a new day in this gentle bedtime book.

As the day ends and a little girl is put to sleep by her mother, night-helper bunnies work their magic to tidy and polish the world. These helpers paint flowers, dust butterflies, and charge rainbows to make the world a beautiful place to wake up to.

Miki Sato’s collage art, which combines paper, textiles, and embroidery silk, creates a three-dimensional dream world that is rich in detail and texture. Jennifer Maruno uses soothing rhyming couplets that celebrate the beauty of nature, creating a uniquely magical world.


Written by  Jennifer Maruno
Illustrated by Miki Sato
Pajama Press (Nov. 22 2022)
ISBN 177278267X


CBC Books “40 Canadian picture books to watch for in fall 2022” Feature

“A peek into the busy Land of Nod….Maruno narrates in flawless and immersive rhyming verse….Readers will linger over each tiny, essential detail—nothing is extraneous….the text and art are expertly stitched together, each visible and impactful on their own and interwoven into a bewitching whole. A perfect bedtime selection for eye-catching, vibrantly colorful dreams.”—Kirkus ★ Starred Review

“This lovely picture book shows what one parent tells her little one as she’s going to sleep. The text is written in peaceful rhyming couplets, while warmly colored collage illustrations show the tidying up that goes on while people rest…. It’s a cozy, positive bedtime story sure to please parents and children alike.”—School Library Journal

“In rhyming couplets, a caregiver encourages a child…to embrace bedtime so that a crew of bunny helpmeets can begin their work tidying up the world… the textured scenes remix details from the child’s waking life into suitably snuggly dreamscapes.”—Publishers Weekly

“Rhyming couplets create a whimsical melody while the collage art illustrations will captivate children with their colorful layers and textures—until they drift off to sleep to dream of the brand new world they’ll wake up to.”—Foreword Reviews

“Author Jennifer Maruno has tapped into childhood imagination to find this cute story….She has written it in rhyming couplets, which little ones will like. The illustrations by Miki Sato are simply stunning….She fills the backgrounds with terrific details to keep little eyes busy and engaged.”—Manhattan Book Review

While You Sleep was the most beautiful picture book I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing this year…. The cut paper and mixed media collages evoke a snoozy watercolored world…. It is a fanciful little story that children will likely find peaceful and interesting in equal measure.….Highly Recommended”—CM Magazine

“Of the three picture books I read this week, While You Sleep might be my favourite…. Each double page spread is a piece of art and brings the story to life…. If you are a parent who reads the same story on repeat, you’ll enjoy this one as Sato creates pages with so much to look at.”—Book Time

“Maruno’s lyrical, rhyming text ebbs and flows from page to page without missing a beat. While You Sleep has the qualities of the great classic bedtime stories like Goodnight Moon…The illustrations are soft and cuddly, soothing and comforting enveloping readers in a warm cozy visual blanket.”—Storytime with Stephanie

“[A] gentle bedtime story by Jennifer Maruno with glorious art by Miki Sato….A reassuring story for little ones.”—The International Educator

“5 out of 5 stars….This beautiful book is enchanting! The story sweeps you away into a magical land of dreams…. The collage art is absolutely stunning! I had to stop and stare at each page, looking for all the little details…. perfect for a bedtime book.”—Luminous Libro

The Writers’ Union of Canada Authors in the School Program

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