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All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep Hardcover – October 2, 2012
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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.
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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Top customer reviews
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.
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.
so every night i say 'do u want to go read that book now' and he runs to his bedroom, instead of me saying 'lets go fo bedtime'!
Most recent customer reviews
McPhail's watercolor illustrations are warmly detailed and fill each...Read more