Friday, February 8, 2013


Wolf, Karina. 2012. THE INSOMNIACS. Ill. by The Brothers Hilts. New York: Penguin. ISBN 9780399256653 [Suggested Grade Levels K – 3]

After the Insomniacs’ family moves twelve time zones away for Mr. Insomniacs’ new job, the entire family has trouble adjusting to their new sleep schedule. They try everything they can think of to go to sleep, but nothing worked. When they decide to observe animal sleeping habits, they realize the world is alive and full of all sorts of beautiful activity at night. This close-knit family decides to give nighttime living a try and embrace their new nocturnal ways.

The Brothers Hilts’ choice of rich dark blue colors and a combination of pencil, charcoal, and the computer for their illustrations brings the magical world of nighttime alive. Spindly legged characters in shades of black and white with the tell-tale signs of sleep deprivation are reminiscent of a Tim Burton style without the creep factor.

Brainstorm different ways to fall asleep when you aren’t sleepy. See how your ideas compare to the Insomniacs.

Find out the difference between insomnia and nocturnal. Discuss why you think the author chose insomniac as the character’s last name instead of nocturnal.

Other picture books dealing with problems going to sleep:
Leysen, An & Louise.THE PRINCESS WHO COULD NOT SLEEP. ISBN 9781605371320
Schwartz, Amy. LUCY CAN’T SLEEP. ISBN 9781596435438
Wright, Michael. JAKE STAYS AWAKE. ISBN 9780312367978

By Jane Jergensen

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