All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep: Crescent Dragonwagon

Books Worth Reading

November 27, 2018

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This wonderfully lyrical board book depicts over 30 unique animals — at least one for each letter of the alphabet — and uses as many words as possible beginning with the corresponding letter for each page.

Reading Level: Ages 1-4

Read aloud time: 2 minutes and 40 seconds

Length: 30 pages

About the Author: Crescent Dragonwagon (née Ellen Zolotow) is a a writer in six different genres, who has written over fifty books, including novels, cookbooks, culinary memoirs, children’s books, a biography, and a collection of poetry. Her best known children’s book is Half a Moon and One Whole Star, which won the Coretta Scott King Award in 1987. Dragonwagon was born in New York in 1952 and sounds like a truly fascinating person, with a fascinating story as to how she got her unusual name.

Here’s why kids might like All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep: This is a favorite board book in our house. (The board book is a slightly abridged version of another longer book by the same name, appropriate for ages 3-6.) It is filled with sweet, colorful illustrations by David McPhail to accompany Crescent Dragonwagon’s (what a name!) lyrical, alliterative text. Moving through the alphabet, you will meet many animals — some more unusual than others — getting ready to sleep.

What makes this book worth reading? My favorite thing about this book is that it is written with a rich and diverse vocabulary, trying to use as many words as possible beginning with the letter for that page. It also mentions 30 different animals, some of which your child will not have heard of. The book is enjoyable to read aloud, with its use of alliteration and lyrical cadence perfect for lulling your child to sleep. (Does that actually happen for anyone? It’s a great concept though.)

Publication Details: New York: LB Books, 2012.

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