Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A Book of Sleep

a book of sleep il sung na review
A Book of Sleep
Il Sung Na

Ages 4-8

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 8, 2009)

Since owls are the rage these days, we've been reading quite a few owl books. Not many resonated with us. Il Sung Na's A Book of Sleep, however, had me inspecting and admiring each double-page spread with wonder and delight that surpassed the resident 3-yr-old's.

The text is rather straightforward and simple. There is no real story that unfolds in the book. It reminded me of Taro Gomi's Everyone Poops. The pictures describe the text, or vice versa, not sure which came first for this book, first published in England under the title ZZzzz: A Book of Sleep (2007).

When the sky grows dark
and the moon glows bright
everyone goes to sleep...
except for the watchful owl.

The owl watches as the other animals get their night's rest. Some sleep standing up, some sleep with one eye open, some with both eyes open, some sleep alone, some huddle together...

However, when the sun comes up again in the morning, all the animals wake up... except for the tired owl. "Silly owl! Why does he do that, Mama? Why does he like to sleep in the morning and wake up at night?", has been Oggie's question for every owl book we've read so far that mention their nocturnal behavior. (Owl Babies, Good-night, Owl!, Stellaluna to name a few).

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Na's illustrations are incredibly beautiful and quite stunning! The colors, the design, the animals, everything about them makes my heart leap with joy. The kindergartner and the preschooler at home like this book, of course. But, I am the one gazing at the pages whenever I get a chance.

There is a board book version, which, while still gorgeous, somehow impairs the gratification I get from the full-sized hardcover.

Il Sung Na's page has samples of her sketches and some images from this book, along with her other books.

[image source:]


Praba Ram said...


This is ONE OWL book I have to OWN kind of feeling your review has evoked! I really can't get over that "eye-catching" illustration on the cover picture, and the title is very ear-catching! :)

It's the exact same feeling like that Orange Pear, Apple Bear Book. I actually went and bought that one following your review years ago. Thanks for this!

utbtkids said...

I saw this book at the SFMOMA store and fell in love with it and had to buy it ASAP.

Praba, totally worth it to own it. The illustrations are beautiful.

is another cute owl book.

GatheringBooks said...

Oh dear, this sounds like something I should immediately look for in our community libraries. Great review! Makes me want to flip thru the pages now.

Sheela said...

P:: The illustrations in this book are very inspiring indeed! It is a bit funny as well :)

utbtkids:: I can relate to the 'buy it ASAP' :) Little Owl Lost reminded me of Where's My Mom? by Donaldson/Scheffler (Gruffalo team)...

Myra::Thank you and welcome!

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