THE INSOMNIACS by Karina Wolf
Kirkus Star

THE INSOMNIACS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7

KIRKUS REVIEW

A quietly magnificent paean to the wonder of nighttime and the solidity of a family unit.

Unlike picture books that use evening settings to address fears or coax kids into bed, this creative debut makes night-living a valid choice. The city-dwelling Insomniacs aren’t originally “a night family. / But when Mrs. Insomniac found a new job, Mother, Father, and little Mika traveled twelve time zones to their new home,” northern and remote. Hot baths and mugs of milk don’t adjust their internal clocks. Perky all night and dozing all day, they seek counsel from their new neighbors: lynx, bears and bats. “And then the Insomniacs noticed: the darkness was full of life.” Why force it? They decide to “give night a try.” Mika keeps pets—a bandicoot and a fennec fox, among others—and attends night school online; Mother continues her (undefined) science career by studying night stars; Father develops photos in his darkroom. The family catches the bakery opening at dawn and then “bundle[s] into bed.” Prussian blue dominates the offbeat pencil-and-charcoal illustrations, with whites and yellows glowing as moon, snow and lamplight. Figures are thin-armed and deliberate. Composition varies entrancingly, including full spreads, sequential boxes and dotted lines pointing to enlarged details.

What first seems an eerie, baby-goth vibe is held steady by the stable, close-knit family and lack of crisis in this atmospheric, calmly splendid piece. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-399-25665-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2012




CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AT NIGHT IN PICTURE BOOKS:

ChildrenTHE NIGHT WORKER by Kate Banks
by Kate Banks
ChildrenTHE INSOMNIACS by Karina Wolf
by
ChildrenAT NIGHT by Jonathan Bean
by Jonathan Bean
ChildrenBLACKOUT by John Rocco
by John Rocco
ChildrenTAR BEACH by Faith Ringgold
by Faith Ringgold

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