- Kelsey Marie Paff
All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep
This is a wonderful good night book by Crescent Dragonwagon, with lovely illustrations by David McPhail. Written in the form of alliteration, the book follows the pattern of the alphabet. From "Antelope is already sleep, all the way to his antlers" to "Ibex inches his way up the icy incline toward a good day's nap" Dragonwagon does an excellent job of diverging from the beaten path of common animal species. I don't think I'd ever heard of a "Vole" before. And the illustrations really are lovely. The fine detailing of McPhail's pen paired with watercolor is really stunning. The color pallet of soft yellows, pale blues, faded greens, and bright oranges holds the reader's gaze on every page.
I also love how McPhail makes the presence of the alphabet very clear with his incorporation of what I like to call ribbon letters -- because of their ribbon-like fluidity on the page (pictured above).
Lastly McPhail's alternating incorporation of either a sunset or the moon in his illustrations gives the book a sense of tranquility and comfort. Both text and illustrations are worthy of standalone praise but together, you have a classic.
A definite shelf-favorite for us. I hope it becomes one for you too.