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A Book of Sleep

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,003 Ratings  ·  203 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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The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleIn the Night Kitchen by Maurice SendakThe Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian SelznickThe Wolves in the Walls by Neil GaimanThe Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Picture Books With Amazing Art
19th out of 410 books — 166 voters
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise BrownGood Night, Gorilla by Peggy RathmannIn the Night Kitchen by Maurice SendakThe House in the Night by Susan Marie SwansonKitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Picture Books About the Night
19th out of 126 books — 17 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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
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!!
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
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.
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 b ...more
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
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 15, 2014 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.
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.
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
Apr 06, 2016 Jenny rated it really liked it
What a beautiful bedtime book! It's a simple text about the different ways animals sleep: with one eye open or both eyes open, alone or huddled in a group. What really makes this book shine, though,is the illustrations. They are a bit whimsical and definitely unique...and really lovely. Recommended for anyone with young children.
A.C. Bauch
This book was a random grab off the library shelf, and I'm so glad it caught my eye. The story is unique, and the illustrations are phenomenal. I'd give the book five stars based on the illustrations alone. I like them so much I downloaded a wallpaper slideshow of them.
Kristine Hansen
May 07, 2015 Kristine Hansen rated it really liked it
My daughter loved the style of the artwork and wanted to take her time to explore each page to try to puzzle out the details. The story is soothing and perfect bedtime reading - up until we wake everyone up in bright daytime and let the poor owl go to sleep.
Eva Kelly
Oct 01, 2014 Eva Kelly rated it really liked it
What BIG EYES you have, owl! HA!
I love the pictures in this one.
Everyone sleeps different except the owl. He has a night job so he sees everyone sleeping at night and then he hides away and sleeps while they're all awake during the day. Go figure!!
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
Aug 16, 2014 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sara-s-books, 2014
Nice illustrations. I can see us using this for a while - finding the owl on every page, naming the animals, looking at the "dream" cloud drawings around the animals. Did take her a bit to warm up to it, though.
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 cartoon ...more
Oct 07, 2014 Kipi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A simply beautiful book. I bought it as a Christmas gift for my grandson, but I may not can wait that long to read it to him.
Jul 07, 2015 Meghan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-my-son
A favorite of my son's. He loves pointing out the animals. I love the beautiful illustrations. Great bedtime read.
Feb 05, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing
This is my one-year-old's favorite book. He's into owls, nighttime, the moon. It's great for winding down before bed.
Jan 18, 2015 Meagan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
The artwork in this simple board book is gorgeous, and I love how calming the book is. A new favorite in our house!
Mar 07, 2014 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrenslit
The illustrations in this book are enchanting and beautiful. The text is simple enough to keep a toddler interested.
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Originally from Korea, IL SUNG NA studied illustration at Kingston University in London.
More about Il Sung Na...

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