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A Book of Sleep

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  2,135 Ratings  ·  209 Reviews
When the sky grows dark
and the moon glows bright,
everyone goes to sleep . . .
except for the watchful owl!

With a spare, soothing text and beautifully rich and textured illustrations of a starry night, this is the perfect “book of sleep.” Join the owl on his moonlit journey as he watches all the other animals settle in for the night: some sleep standing up, while some sleep
Hardcover, 24 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 25, 2012 j rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, nina
When I read this to my son/daughter, I like to make the sounds of the different animals. I also point out where the little owl is hidden on every page. S/he is still in utero, but I nevertheless feel like this is a worthwhile activity.


The art is simultaneously classic and modern and I'm pretty sure no child will appreciate it on as many levels as I do.

(*which k
The illustrations in this book really captivated me--they are so unusual and beautiful! The story itself is a very simple one about all the different ways animals sleep--and how the owl finally falls asleep while everyone else wakes up ;-) Still, it's so beautifully told through the illustrations and a few well-chosen words that this is a true gem of a bedtime and animal story.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This is a stunning book, one that appeals to my artistic side (the side that loves art, even if I'm hopeless at it myself). Il Sung Na is an illustrator like no other, and the story is very sweet too. The kids really like this one, with all the different animals, and as they get older there are finer details to notice.

The text is very simple but the illustrations are deceptively simple and utterly gorgeous - I would love to get them as posters.

They speak for themselves, I think. :)
Lisa Vegan
Jan 29, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: bedtime story telling for very young children; those who appreciate beautiful illustrations
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
The art from cover to cover is unusual and absolutely stunning. Interestingly, much of it was done with the help of digital computer technology; and I will search out more books by this talented picture book artist. This is a gorgeous book.

The story is a perfect and reassuring bedtime story for very young children, as it goes from animal to animal talking about the ways they sleep, and then talking about them all waking up "when the sky turns blue and the sun glows bright” – except for the owl,
Mar 20, 2011 Ann rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

This book follows and owl (happily you can look for it on nearly every page!) who stays up at night, and travels by various other animals who sleep at night.

I'm sure children who are curious about animals, and children who might be afraid to sleep (or of the dark) will enjoy this simple and sweet tale.

The illustrations are interesting and unique and overall I did like this a lot!
Jun 24, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Wow. I would like to commission Il Sung Na to design my wallpaper. The illustrations in this book are exquisitely rendered and the story is short and sweet--perfect for bedtime.
An Abundance of Books
Mar 04, 2011 An Abundance of Books rated it it was amazing
Featured at An Abundance of Books

This is the book just begs for you to cuddle up with your child and whisper the story quietly while looking at all of the sleeping animals and trying and find the Owl in every illustration. I've added this and a few other Il Sung Na books to my son's book wish list for the grandparents. This is a lovely book and one you definitely need to try out, I give it 5 stars.

Read full review HERE
Oct 21, 2014 June rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Librarians, parents & teachers
Recommended to June by: Polly
A simple story about a owl keeping watch under a moon and how other animals sleep. A mother grabbed it right after storytime to check out. 12/16/11

This was quite popular at story time and grabbed a lot of children that were hanging around from Lap Time.
Apr 19, 2014 Becki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
Now this book was great. My four year old niece and I loved the illustrations. She could identify every animal. And wanted to know why the owl slept at night and the rest did not. Kept entertained and seeking knowledge. Win, win, win!!
Hannah Notess
Dec 27, 2015 Hannah Notess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writers-of-color
Reading this every night at bedtime, I still find it sweet, and it's short enough to not get boring.
Cute, whimsical pictures. My favorite page is when they all wake up! Lovely.
Leslie Stair
BOOK: A Book of Sleep by Na

Toddler Storybook Art Class


I read Na’s A Book of Sleep to the children after showing them a few related signs (day, night, moon, stars). WE then briefly discussed the elements of the illustrations-dark sky, moon, stars, animals sleeping, etc.) I then explained that we would be doing a “magic” nighttime painting by first drawing on a sheet of heavy paper with white or very light crayons and then we would be painting over the drawings with water
Sep 16, 2012 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents wanting a good bedtime book
“Book of Sleep” by Il Sung Na is a picture book intended for children ages 1-5 years (N). The book tells the story of how different animals sleep as compared to the owl. I gave this book a 4 star rating. I chose 4 stars only because of the illustrations. The book itself I would give 3 stars to but the illustrations are amazing. They are imaginative and unique, the pages could easily be ripped out and framed. “Book of Sleep” does its job effectively in conveying to the reader how the owl sleeps ...more
Michelle McBeth
Mar 11, 2015 Michelle McBeth rated it really liked it
Owl is awake as the rest of the animal kingdom falls asleep. Owl flies overhead and watches each animal. We are given a description of how each animal sleeps: Some sleep standing up, some sleep with one eye open and others huddle close together. But when the sun comes up, it is time for owl to finally close his eyes and go to sleep.

The illustrations are made with painted textures and digital work. They are beautiful, soft, textured for interest, and fun to look at.

This is a very soothing story f
Feb 08, 2010 Cassie rated it it was amazing
When nighttime descends, all the animals go to sleep, except for the watchful owl. So begins this bedtime book which will be loved by the young and old alike! Charming illustrations in muted tones coupled with the brief text set the perfect mood for napping.

I cannot find the words to adequately express just how much I love this sleepy time book! The illustrations by Il Sung Na are so completely amazingly lovely, that I can only describe them as eye-candy. The horse tushes and 'one eye open' bird
Mar 02, 2013 Chelsea rated it liked it
Perfect for bed time!

Na, Il S. A Book of Sleep. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009. Print. 24 p.

A Book of Sleep allows readers to discover the ways various animals sleep. With the owl as the guide through the night, readers visit elephants, fish, pigeons, penguins, giraffes, and others as they are asleep. Some sleep standing up, such as the horse, but all animals sleep at night, except for our guide the owl. Tired owl finally gets rest when the day begins. Using computer applications, the illustrat
Jan 15, 2010 jesse rated it it was amazing
Every inch of every page is illustrated in this visual treat! Young readers follow watchful owl in the dark on an imaginative discovery of animal behavior. The layering and detail in Na’s mixed media spreads create a depth you feel you could fly through. The text, sweet and succinct, guides you rhythmically along, while rich yet quiet hues depict how the look of night varies in the different places the animals rest. This is a book to pore over and over. With each read, you may find a new star to ...more
Jun 09, 2014 winda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Suka banget sama ilustrasi di bukunya. Seruuu ikut nemenin burung hantu mengamati hewan-hewan yang sedang tertidur dengan beragam gaya :)
paling suka ilustrasi gajah dan paus yang lagi tidur :)

Penjelasan di buku ini juga sederhana, mudah dimengerti sama anak-anak :D

Tapi, kalau buat anak-anak yang sudah bisa bertanya, harus mengantisipasi banyak kemungkinan pertanyaan dari buku ini, misalnya suara gajah waktu tidur itu berisiknya seperti apa? Burung apa aja yang tidur dengan sebelah mata terbuka d
Книжни Криле
Jul 07, 2016 Книжни Криле rated it it was amazing
Когато става въпрос за „четене”, първото нещо, за което се сещат повечето от нас, разбира се, е четенето на текст – буква по буква, дума по дума, изречения, параграфи… И така забравяме, че ние разчитаме много повече от знаци, съставящи текст. Ние разчитаме изражения, жестове, движения, цветове, композиции… Ние разчитаме ИЗОБРАЖЕНИЯ. И първото четене започва още от люлката, не само с това, което мама и татко ни нашепват за приспиване, ами и с образите от книжките с твърди, картонени страници. ...more
Feb 27, 2012 Carolynne rated it really liked it
Simple text describes many animals who are sleeping after dark while the owl watches--quiet sleepers, noisy ones, ones who sleep standing up, with one or both eyes open, etc. The stylized, illustrations ("created by combining handmade painterly textures with digitally generated layers, which were then compiled in Adobe Photoshop," according to the verso at the end of the book, which I take to mean the author used both original and computer generated drawings ) are airy, humorous (but not ...more
Green Bean
Aug 15, 2011 Green Bean rated it it was amazing
"When the sky grows dark and the moon glows bright, everyone goes to sleep...except for the watchful owl." Fly through the night with this wise wanderer learning the ways animals like to sleep. Meet snoring elephants, snuggling penguins and pigeons who have one eye open even when they're snoozing! Spot owl in each of Na's dreamy illustrations, full of moonlit blues, starry yellows and delicate lines. The book ends with a daybreak surprise as the tables are turned and we learn that even night ...more
Dec 16, 2015 Alex rated it really liked it
As board books go, this one actually creates the mood and ambient feeling of sleep.
Quiet and peaceful, are the best words to describe the illustrations of a owl that travels the world to explore how the other animal sleep, before succumbing herself to sleep.

The review of a 13 month old girl...
"The first times I read it, I really liked the penguins. But just that. After a while, the sounds of the owl made their way to the story, the moon and stars came to life, and slowly, other animals came to m
I've had this on my son's to-read list forever but didn't have the time to pick it up until this week. The book is a very simple bedtime book about all the animals going to sleep and waking up again, except for the owl. I love the illustrations though, they make the book look whimsical and fun. I especially like the one with the giraffes resting on clouds as they sleep alone and the one-eye-open pigeons. Highly recommended for ages 1-5, 5 stars.
Dec 09, 2009 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: preschool and up
"The illustrations in this book were created by combining handmade painterly textures with digitally generated layers, which were then compiled in Adobe Photoshop."

However the artwork was done, the results are lovely and unusual in this simple book. It looks like what would happen if you took the spirit of doodles and made them into something really layered and intricate. My favorite page is the giraffe!
Jul 09, 2016 Naomi rated it really liked it
The illustrations in this book were AMAZING. There was just something of pure joy about this book, but it was in its simplest form. It was a book about how animals sleep, but it was more than that. I have read numerous reviews from parents on how they used this book to put their kids to sleep and the little traditions of things each of them would do. I can see it-how this book will carry on in each of those kids memories.
Nov 14, 2009 Nielson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Using rich and colorful illustrations, the reader goes along with the watchful owl as it lightly covers some of the sleeping habits of different animals. It is a calming and peaceful read and would be great before bedtime! Although it would be most appropriate for pre-K, it could also be used in elementary when discussing sleeping habits of animals and/or art. The illustrations are beautiful! EL-OPTIONAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher.

I really loved the illustrations in this book!
"The illustrations in this book were created by combining handmade painterly textures with digitally generated layers, which were then compiled in Adobe Photoshop."

Right. What?

However he did it, the book is lovely. The colors are soft and pleasing. The story is soothing and informative. The variety of critters is perfect.

My sleeping patterns are very much like that of the owl. It's nice to have a bedtime story that I can relate to. ;)
I absolutely love the illustrations in this picture book. I think older students would enjoy them too. They are gorgeous, but they also contain a hint of humor. This could be a great conversation starter for ELLs to talk about their sleep patterns/preferences. Are they light or deep sleepers? Sleep walkers? Do they snore? Do they like sharing a room? Do they need peace and quiet to sleep? Funny sleep stories?

Nanci Booher
There is an app for this book but it is only available in the UK app store (boo) but there is also a youtube video of this book ( I've said it before but it's worth repeating....Il Sung Na is a master at bringing stories and beautiful illustrations together. I hope he continues to write (there is a new book coming out in 2015 Welcome Home Bear) these lovely little treasures.
Caitlin Sabers
Apr 05, 2013 Caitlin Sabers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: night-darkness, owls
With gorgeous illustrations, this book shows animals that sleep at night and those that do not. The calming flow and quiet story are perfect as a bedtime story for babies and toddlers. Adults who appreciate art, however, are also very fond of this book. This one is worth reading even if you are just examining the beautiful artwork.
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Originally from Korea, IL SUNG NA studied illustration at Kingston University in London.
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