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All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep Hardcover – October 2, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-K-In this cozy alphabet/bedtime hybrid, a mother tucks her reluctant child into bed, offering examples of how other animals prepare for sleep to convince her little one to doze. The story begins and ends with the mother speaking in soothing rhyming verse; her alphabetized descriptions of "the awake animals getting sleepy" are non-rhyming but mostly alliterative, e.g., "Cat's curled up on a crimson couch cushion." Full-page watercolor and ink illustrations in soft, muted colors depict mildly stylized, drowsy animals (generally one, but sometimes two or three per letter). The large cursive capitals fit well into the overall design of the pages, noticeable but unobtrusive. With dozens, if not hundreds, of other alphabet books out there (including previous alphabet books by Dragonwagon and McPhail), it might be difficult to find room for one more, especially in smaller collections; however, if you are looking for new additions, this one is quietly pleasant.-Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

This lyrical picture book begins with a bedtime conundrum: how do you sleep when you’re not sleepy? The mother here avoids the traditional route of counting sheep and instead leads her child through an alphabet’s worth of animals who are almost asleep. Each animal is introduced alliteratively: “As the light laps the leaves, Lion lies down, lounging low with Lioness and the little one.” X is tricky, as usual, but since these animals are “expecting an exceptionally excellent night’s rest,” the formula works and the cadence is maintained to the end. Many of the animals will be familiar to children, while some—quetzal, urubu—are more exotic. Children will have fun identifying them—if they are still awake, that is. McPhail’s watercolor-and-ink illustrations are gorgeously serene, and the darkening evening light, depicted in washes of burgundy, gold, and teal, is beautiful. The rhyming text at the end breaks the spell of the A-to-Z lullaby, but by that point the little boy and all the animals are well on their way to a good night’s sleep. Preschool-Grade 1. --Kara Dean
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316070459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316070454
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By eva b on October 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recently we had (adult) overnight guests and, as I always do for house guests , I put a book on their night table. It was "All the Awake...." and in the morning they attributed their wonderful night's sleep to reading and enjoying the book enormously. In fact, they read it to each other - punctuated by their laughter. The book is a thorough delight - beautiful to look at and clever to read, one I look forward to sharing with future guests, as well as my numerous grandchildren. A book for the ages....
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E Simpson on September 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Crescent Dragonwagon (Home Place; This is the Bread I Baked for Ned among other books) has done it again - written a wonderful book that is inviting to read / listen to; the illustrations by David McPhail (Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore!; Pig Grows Up; Waddles - and more) are full of personality. The text is lyrical, calming. Dragonwagon begins by having the mother tell her young child to go to sleep, just try - all animals have to sleep. There are opposites (still and leap, wide awake and sound asleep) as the mother begins the explanation of why the child needs to sleep, and then...an alphabet of animals with alliteration on each page describes how each animal sleeps. For example, "Ibex inches his way up the icy incline toward a good day's nap" and for x, y, and z "EXpecting an exceptionally excellent night's rest Yak yawns and Zebra just Zzzzzzzzzzs." The circle ends with the mother saying gently to her obviously sleepy child that it's night, and to "start sleeping now. Ssssh...sssssh...ssssshhh."

Male and female animals are represented; McPhail's art and the hand lettering by Sasha Prood support and develop the text beautifully. A great deal of research went into the text and the illustrations.

Words are beautifully used (light laps the leaves). As this book is read to a child, it will provide comfort, ease, and a great deal of vocabulary development (this is the teacher in me coming out).

An absolutely delightful book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Shopper1 on September 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What an absolutely beautiful book and very well written!!!! Love, love, love it!!! The pictures are magical and the details are exceptional! A great children's book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By brindamur on December 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the perfect gift for any child or parents of young ones. Crescent Dragonwagon does a masterful job of taking us through a magical world of alphabet animals verging upon slumber. And the illustrations are the most beautiful I've seen in a children's book ever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Margaret C. VINE VOICE on November 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing bedtime book and one that I would eagerly recommend on anyone's gift list for new babies, older toddler, preschoolers and beyond working on animals and their alphabet. I love the title, and getting my preschooler to pick out all the letter A's is a ton of fun and that is only the beginning. The text through out is lyrical and keeps a good rhythm and rhyme that is pleasant to read and would not be bothersome to read again night after night. The images are full of variety and calm soothing colors that would entertain a child to look at them alone or in a lap for story time bedtime or anytime read alouds. Then there is the alphabet. Every pages is filled with that letter and appropriate words, from the animal to descriptions to other items and more the letter is used in multiple ways and it is a fabulous learning tool. The other thing about the words chosen is that they are not your average ABCs, they are unique or words not as often used and all around a great introduction to so many new things that the "other" ABC book definitely did not cover. With the exception of the page X not having a single word to begin with X and only have the words: "expecting and exceptionally excellent night's rest,..." that is the only place where I was disappointed and still I think it's a full star book.

*Thanks to LB Kids for providing a copy for review.*
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debnance at Readerbuzz on November 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
After a busy day, children need a quiet book before bedtime. Just say the title of this book and you'll know right away that this is a perfect choice. It's a lovely combination of an alphabet book and an animal book and a book of alliteration and a good night book. The amazing alliterative text by Crescent Dragonwagon will whisper you to sleep while the gentle illustrations by the amazing David McPhail will lull you to dreamland.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Agatha on November 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lovely and clever book for bedtime. McPhail does his usual wonderful illustrations. Just lovely for bedtime for a two-year-old and still fun for an older tot. And it's even fun for Mom reading the beguiling text and lingering over the pictures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bridget Walsh on August 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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