Wednesday, November 7, 2012

All The Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep

Everyone loves a cozy bedtime book. Whether children or adults, we take great pleasure in climbing into bed and snuggling under the blankets to read, especially at this time of year. And when the volume we bring with us is especially worthy of our attention, all the better.

Children’s book veterans Crescent Dragonwagon and David McPhail have teamed up and produced one of those rare gems in All The Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep. As with so many books about bedtime, a child is not quite ready for slumber, but mother gently encourages making an attempt anyway. She lovingly points out that every creature has a time to be awake and a time to sleep, and proceeds to describe a number of familiar (and some not-so-common) animals’ methods of getting cozy for the night.
The beautiful alliterative text doubles as an alphabet book, punctuated by McPhail’s warm, soothing ink and watercolor illustrations of baby and adult animals finding their night’s resting place. Each does it in a uniquely personal way ~ “Frog just floats, letting her feet flop until they find firm footing near the ferns”, and “Otter, overcome, is out in the ocean, rocking on and on, oh-so-gently”.  Sweet but intelligent poetry begins and ends the story, and my guess is that children will want to hear it again and again, hoping they can make it to the last page before finding their own eyelids heavy with sleep. Guest post by Bridget W.


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