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Home > Children's Books > Little Lek Longtail Learns to Sleep

cover of Little Lek Longtail Learns to Sleep

Available Now

at your local bookseller or your favorite online book retailer.

Little Lek Longtail
Learns to Sleep
written by: Bette Killion
illustrated by: Beatriz Vidal
Subject(s): Age level:

Juvenile fiction / Nature & the Natural World

Ages 4 and up

Format: Size / page count:


8" × 9" / 28 pages

ISBN: Date available:


Now available



“I can’t sleep, mommy, I’m scared.” Human moms and dads have heard it many times before, and so too, it turns out, has Little Lek’s mother. Her little Argus pheasant was so gentle, kind, and handsome with his exceptionally long and brightly colored tail. But he had just one, very big, problem: he couldn’t get to sleep. Just like many little girls and boys, Little Lek’s nighttime fears kept him awake.

Then one day something changed, and Little Lek discovered a strength that lay hidden within, something that gave him the peace of mind to sleep soundly through the night. Find out the secret of how Little Lek learned to trust in himself! Readers will delight in Beatriz Vidal’s vivid and expressive art. An appendix of fascinating facts about the Argus pheasant makes this book an educational experience as well.
Awards & Honors
  • Finalist in the “Children’s Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction” category of The USA “Best Books 2016” Awards, sponsored by USA Book News
  • Honorable Mention in the “Children’s” category of the 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Awards
  • Silver Medal in the “Interior Design” category of the 2016 Midwest Book Awards


“Combining elements of the traditional folk tale and an Aesop's fable, Killion offers a moral tale about how the now-threatened argus pheasant learned to sleep through the night. In a jungle in Thailand, an argus pheasant is born with an unusually long and brightly colored tail and is named Little Lek Longtail by his ‘proud mother.’ As he grows, his tail also grows: ‘longer, brighter, and more beautiful.’ Despite his beauty, Lek is kind and thoughtful, a friend to all the other birds in the forest. However, he is afraid of nighttime predators—so afraid he cannot fall asleep. Even his mother cannot comfort him. One day, Lek sees a man and his son outsmart a bask of crocodiles to safely cross a river. In amazement he concludes, ‘There is always a way if one just thinks of it.’ Lek begins to observe other creatures using their attributes and talents to help themselves and realizes he can use his long, extravagant tale as an alarm … Vidal’s vivid and vibrant art shines. She deliberately omits white space, packing a profusion of color, details, and textures across the pages to re-create the dense, diverse jungles of Southeast Asia. The appendix provides interesting argus pheasant facts … Killion’s efforts to highlight a little-known creature and teach a moral lesson are commendable.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Children will delight in Beatriz Vidal’s vivid and expressive art which brings author Bette Killion’s deftly crafted picture book story to life. Of special note is the inclusion of an appendix of fascinating facts about the Thai Argus pheasant [which] makes Little Lek Longtail Learns to Sleep an educational experience as well. Unfailingly entertaining from beginning to end, Little Lek Longtail Learns to Sleep is especially commended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.”
Children’s Bookwatch

A sample spread from the book “Little Lek Longtail Learns to Sleep”, written and illustrated by Isabelle Brent

A sample spread from the book Little Lek Longtail Learns to Sleep,
written by Bette Killion and illustrated by Beatriz Vidal

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