Ira Sleeps Over

Book review by
Linda Rahm-Crites, Common Sense Media
Ira Sleeps Over Book Poster Image
Humorous narrative brings Ira's world to life.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Ira's older sister seems to delight in stirring things up.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this humorous, first-person narrative is written in a very believable child's voice.

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What's the story?

To take his teddy bear, or not to take his teddy bear? That is the question facing Ira before his first-ever sleepover. Bernard Waber's much loved picture book explores some of the familiar dilemmas and insecurities of childhood, but with a sweetly comic twist. It turns out Ira's inclination was right all along: Even big boys need teddy bears.


Is it any good?

This book’s artwork, interesting pen-and-ink drawings with selective coloring, helps underscore the story's humor and has a little something extra for parents or older children returning to it. 

Sleeping over for the first time represents a major milestone. Even if it's just a matter of going next door to spend the night with your best friend, it can, as Ira discovers, present some unexpected dilemmas. What if you take your teddy bear and your best friend decides you're a baby? Should you follow the advice of your parents or your older sibling, or your own feelings?

Ira's parents encourage him to do what he wants to do. But, perhaps more relevant for preschoolers, the story acknowledges that other people are not always so supportive. Older siblings, themselves (supposedly) newly liberated from a dependency on teddy bears, can zero right in on one's vulnerabilities with devastating effect. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about security objects. Do you have something special that helps comfort you? When do you feel like you need it? Would you want to bring it on a sleepover?

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