An alphabet book with a story

A review of All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep by Crescent Dragonwagon

Alphabet books are great for one-on-one reading and discussion, but there are not very many you can read all the way through. I decided to give this one a try for a group of children at a childcare center, since it has more of a story than many alphabet books that I have seen. I wanted to see if it would be interesting to children from beginning to end.

It’s bedtime and the child is not sleepy, so the Mom tells the story of how all of the awake animals are getting ready to rest.  Beginning with the Antelope and ending with the Zebra, the author makes wonderful use of alliteration to describe what the animals are doing, “in a protected place on a precipice, Panda plumps down peacefully” and “Turtle’s tired, and turns in, tucking each tiny toe into her tight shell.”

I learned about a couple of animals that I was unfamiliar with, the Quetzal and the Urubu (they are both birds). The watercolor illustrations add warmth and relaxation to this winning goodnight book. I am happy to report it did keep the interest of the group at the childcare center from start to finish!


Thanks for this review! I wonder who the illustrator is.

Thanks for your question, Ginny! The illustrator is David McPhail.