cover image Everyone Sleeps

Everyone Sleeps

Marcellus Hall. Penguin/Paulsen, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-25793-3

In illustrator Hall’s first book as author, too, a family’s diminutive, anxiety-ridden pug, Conrad, is plagued with sleeplessness. Conrad’s enormous, moist eyes widen in consternation as he watches the family head upstairs (“Everyone is getting ready for bed./ ‘Good night, everyone,’ they all said”), leaving him alone. Hall (Because You Are My Teacher) works in casual, swoopy watercolor, gouache, and ink, painting fields of dark purples and blues and pools of moonlight as Conrad wanders far and wide, discovering that other animals aren’t bothered by insomnia. “Ducks sleep swimming in a row./ What about plants? I don’t know./ Frogs spend their nights/ at the bottoms of lakes.../ A bear sleeps for months before he wakes.” Conrad even takes a diminutive motorboat out into the sea to check out sleeping otters, as well as a polar bear slumbering on an ice floe, where the pug’s eyes take on an especially alarmed cast. Straightforward verse and pared-down spreads make for even pacing, and the story moves smartly to its conclusion as Conrad finally finds companionship and consolation. Ages 3–5. (May)