Ira Sleeps Over

Common Sense Media says

Humorous narrative brings Ira's world to life.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

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?


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. The artwork, pen-and-ink drawings with selective coloring, helps underscore the humor and has a little something extra for parents or older children returning to the book.

Families can talk 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?

Book details

Author:Bernard Waber
Illustrator:Bernard Waber
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Children's Books
Publication date:January 1, 1975
Number of pages:48
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

This review of Ira Sleeps Over was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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