Charleston artist illustrates bestselling children's book, CD

Image by Sleep, Little Child Illustrations by Tony Waters

Author and illustrator Tony Waters of Charleston announces the publication of his newest book, Sleep, Little Child, which is adapted from an original lullaby by North Carolina author/musician Marc Hoffman.

Waters created the illustrations and cover art for the book and the accompanying CD of the lullaby.

Sleep, Little Child is a rhyming story in which a father assures his young son that he will sleep safely through the night because his heavenly Father is always watching over him. The book is intended for children from infancy through age seven.

Tony Waters was on hand for the August 27th book launch and signing party at the Literary Bookpost in Salisbury, NC. Well over 100 people attended, including over 50 children who came to hear the author perform the lullaby. Owner Deal Safrit reported that it was the store’s best sales day since opening. On the following Sunday Sleep, Little Child topped the store’s bestsellers list.

For the artwork, which depicts a young family putting their small son to bed at night, Waters said he used watercolors because “they allow some freedom for change or spontaneity.”

He explained his inspiration for the illustrations:

“Details inspire me, which is why I asked Marc for pictures of his family and childhood things. I also used some of the rooms and furnishings in my own house as a setting for the story. When I'm writing or illustrating a book, I'm inspired by the things -- toys, books, artists, emotions -- that gave me joy as a child and the desire to share that joy with other children. This adds a certain ‘realness’ to the drawings.”

Another advantage with detailed pictures for children, Waters said, is that "when children notice something new the next time they look at a book, they are encouraged to return to the book more and more to look for other details. In Sleep, Little Child, the boy's quilt offers a lot of things to hunt for, and some children may even look for discrepancies in the drawings from one page to another."

Born and raised in Charleston, Tony Waters has written and illustrated three children’s books of his own entitled The Sailor’s Bride, The Moon Smiles Down, and Cinnamon’s Busy Year. In addition he has illustrated four Flick books for Columbia, SC, author Lynn Floyd Wright, The Big Bat by Anne Jewell, Director of the Louisville Slugger Bat Museum, and several supplemental education workbooks. He has also contributed numerous illustrations for the Cricket Magazine Group over the past 16 years.

Sleep, Little Child includes an accompanying CD that features Hoffman singing his original lullaby. Other tracks offer the instrumental-only version, plus two non-musical readings: one by the author and another by the author’s mother and radio personality, Barbara Hoffman.

Hoffman published the book through own label, Virillion Music. to retain the rights for a second edition. He interviewed several artists before finding Tony Waters, then selected Asia Pacific Offset Printing, a company that publishes materials for the Smithsonian Institution, as his printer.

Sleep, Little Child is also available on at and on Amazon. For more information and to hear the lullaby, visit

About “Sleep, Little Child”:

Synopsis: As babies grow into little children, there comes a time when they realize that, like themselves, Mommy and Daddy sleep at night, too. Where, then, is the watchful eye to look over them all night? Where are the protective arms to keep them safe when they close their eyes and drift away into dreams? “Sleep, Little Child” answers these questions with simple verse, soft music, and compelling illustrations. Composed and sung by Marc Hoffman and illustrated by Tony Waters, “Sleep, Little Child” is a lullaby with a comforting message: that Someone strong, loving and more powerful than even Mommy and Daddy is right there with all little children, keeping them safe and warm, and greeting them with the morning light. Publisher: Virillion Music. Retail price: $17.95.




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