An imaginative pug with insomnia explores the night world of sleeping animals with a dreamlike narrative in rhyming text.
Conrad the pug just isn’t interested in sleep when his family heads off to bed. He slips out into the night alone and sees all sorts of familiar animals sleeping near his home. As Conrad ventures further into the heart of darkness (his name is Conrad, after all), his observations veer into the fantastical. He can see under water and into distant environments, spotting such unusual animals as elephants, monkeys, a panda and a tiger. At first Conrad is an observer, but he becomes a participant, swimming with the “creatures of the deep” and sleeping on his back tucked into a group of walruses. He returns home to find the little girl of his family still awake, and Conrad falls asleep in her bed. Readers will find the girl in an irritated state of wakefulness on the final page. This jarring attempt at a humorous ending doesn’t complement the magical, ethereal tone of Conrad’s journey. Intriguing illustrations in ink, watercolor and gouache capture the mysterious tone of the world at night, with a wide variety of perspectives and creatively integrated strings of ZZZs coming from the sleeping creatures.
An inventive if not wholly successful look at the nighttime world of nature. (Picture book. 3-6)