While You Were Sleeping – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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A related preempt to today’s perfect picture book is, for those that missed the announcement on Monday, I have been selected as part of this year’s CYBILS round 2 panel for judging the category of fictional picture books. I am excited and honored to be part of this award giving process.

The Cybils Awards are for children’s and young-adult books recognized as has having the highest literary merit and “kid appeal” by the book blogging community.

Anyone can nominate a book in each category. Nominations are open from Oct 1st – Oct 15th. The Round 1 judges come up with a shortlist of finalists by January 1, 2013, and the Round 2 judges review the picture books and chose the winner, which will be announced on February 14, 2013.

Here is the wonderful Round 2 panel of Judges:

Fiction Picture Books Chair – Pam Coughlan, Blog: MotherReader

Myra Bacsal          Blog: Gathering Books
Darshana Khiani   Blog: Flowering Minds
Joanna Marple     Blog: Miss Marple’s Musings 
Dawn Mooney      Blog: 5 Minutes for Books
Jen Robinson       Blog: Jen Robinson’s Book Page 

While You Were Sleeping

By John Butler

Published by Orchard Picture Books, 1999

Ages: 1-5

Themes/Topics: Concept book, counting, 1-10, animals, natural habitat, sleeping

First Line/synopsis: “While you were sleeping one deep, dark night, animals all around the world were stirring. Some were near, some were far away, and they were waking, while you were sleeping; on that deep dark night.

This story captures the essence of what animals do at night while a young child is tucked safely in her bed, soundly asleep. Ten different animals are featured in different activities, throughout the pages of the book, including owls, tigers, penguins, and more. The lyrical prose will have very young children drifting off to sleep before the story is done, while at the same time will keep them dreaming about the playful illustrations and animals’ lives around the world, e.g.“While you were sleeping, six deer jumped over a silvery stream.” This is a nature counting book from 1-10, and is suitable for a very first book for your child because of the enchanting, welcoming nature of the double-paged full illustrations. Older children will enjoy naming the animals as they count along.

Why I like this book: I was not surprised that this was by an author/illustrator. The vivid bold, pictures, in one or two tones, setting each animal group in its natural habitat, partner superbly with the lilting text. The pictures are large and attractive and great for even tiny tots. It does come in board book and well as hardback versions, so is robust enough for very young teeth and hands! While the youngest will enjoy the illustrations and lyricism, older children, will also appreciate counting with these realistic animal, and may. I picked it up initially because of the front cover. Those two little mice in their nest captured my attention (though the four baby owls are my favorites). While an obvious bedtime read, I would use it at any time of the day!


There are a ton of counting activities at Prekinders

Nursery Rhymes 1-10 on Youtube

To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.  Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays  badge in the right sidebar.

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10 Responses to While You Were Sleeping – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. I love John Butler’s books! They’re all beautiful and sweet like this one and, as you say, great for a range of ages. Thanks for sharing this one – it’s beautiful! I would have picked it up for that cover too 🙂

  2. I love the cover! I like the idea of the book! 🙂

  3. Who can resist that cover. I can only imagine the beauty of the illustrations within. Sounds like it teaches and delights young kids. Great choice.

    Congratulations on your selection to judge the second round of CYBILS. This is a natural for you.

  4. So delighted that you’ve been chosen to be a CYBILS Judge! A perfect choice on their part.

    This book seems a perfect choice, too. Love the premise, the cover art, the gentleness, the educational aspect — oh, just everything. Thanks, Joanna, for bringing it to our attention!

  5. Amy Dixon says:

    Oh my, this cover IS the sweetest! What animal-loving child wouldn’t snatch this up in a heartbeat? Great choice, Joanna!

  6. Darshana says:

    sounds like a lovely book. i like the lyrical prose. what kid doesn’t like counting. 🙂

  7. Oohh yes! The cover alone has got me. It is just the sweetest and I hope I find it in our library just so I can have a nosey at all the other lovely illustrations within.. Beautiful choice Joanna.
    I must say congratulations on becoming a Cybils Judge, well done! and not surprising. Go you!

  8. Carrie F says:

    This sounds like a great book! I love the fact that it’s layered — a nature book and also a counting book. The cover looks gorgeous, too.

  9. This book has such peaceful language. I think it would definitely encourage sleep. As a big fan of nonfiction, I love that children have the opportunity to learn about what animals do at night. Thanks for this one, Joanna! (And congrats again on the Cybils.)

  10. What a lovely book, Joanna! Perfect for bedtime or anytime. 🙂 And thanks for the resource/activity suggestions…I love to have those.
    Congrats again on the judging honor…much deserved!

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