cover image Awake, Asleep

Awake, Asleep

Kyle Lukoff, illus. by Nadia Alam. Orchard, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-338-77621-8

Via simple, largely monosyllabic words strung together into gently bouncing lines, Lukoff (If You’re a Kid Like Gavin) follows three families with young children through a single day, from sun-up to slumber. “A kiss, a blink, a dawn, a break,” text begins, as waking children are seen through different residence windows, wooded slopes and a city beyond lit by the rising sun. Families of various configurations and skin tones greet the day: some tend a baby (“a sniff, a stink, a change”); a bearded, tattoo-sporting caregiver pulls on pink sneakers as the child beside them dons a smaller pair (“a dress, a pink”). The groups amble toward a playground as the children spot small signs of wildlife (“a land,/ a slow,// a stalk”). Help appears across the generations (“A reach,/ a hand,/ a rise,/ a stand”), as does comfort when problems arise. In loose, digitally finished, gently tinted vignettes, debut illustrator Alam envisions a community that offers all its members security and love in this sedate ode to ordinary days that ends with “a kiss, a blink, a night,// asleep.” Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Saba Sulaiman, Talcott Notch Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (May)