Picture Book Snob
Why You'll Love All the Animals Were Sleeping by Clare Helen Welsh and Jennie Løvlie
Here's a book I've been meaning to share for ages. Sometimes, the more beautiful something is, the harder it is to write about - for me, anyway. It can be challenging to adequately describe something as visually striking as All the Animals Were Sleeping. I get paralysed by the fear of not doing a book justice, which leads to chronic procrastination (one of my worst habits).
Another thing that has been interfering with sharing gorgeous books here is time constraints. When I started blogging I was unemployed (thanks to Covid) and we were in lockdown, so I had all the time in the world, and was able to write lengthy essays about books daily. While I'm delighted to be back at work (and even luckier to be working for myself, mostly), I do miss not getting to talk about books as much as I used to. And as my kids are now both in school, they are picking up bugs constantly, so between working, being up all night with them or looking after them all day when they're ill, or getting sick myself, the last three months have gone by in a blur of what paradoxically feels like extreme unproductivity and business all at once. So this poor blog has been badly neglected of late, and stunning books like this one have unfortunately not made it on the site, despite their merits, and my best intentions.
We adore Time to Move South for Winter by Clare Helen Welsh and Jennie Løvlie. The latest collaboration from this talented author and illustrator team, All the Animals Were Sleeping, is every bit as breathtaking. It follows a little mongoose on a trail of sleepy animals, as dusk falls in the Serengeti. If you're looking for a timeless tale filled with striking sunsets, starry twilights and cuddly (and not-so-cuddly) creatures, this is perfect. A gorgeous gift for a newborn, the gentle text and exquisite illustrations combine to create an elegant lullaby. The comforting phrase, 'All the animals were sleeping' is repeated throughout, strengthening the story's soothing qualities. Children of all ages will love falling asleep alongside the animals. Even parents will feel relaxed when reading this at the end of a busy day.
I would love nothing more than to compose 1,000+ words about how cosy, beautiful and lyrical this book is, and how it teaches children about lots of different animals too (with even more to learn from the facts at the end). But as I only have five minutes before I have to go and do something else, I'm going to share the photos I took way back in October when I originally saved a draft of this blog post, and let the writing and art speak for themselves...
All the Animals Were Sleeping was published in August 2022 by Nosy Crow - see this book on the publisher's website
Thanks so much to the lovely people in Nosy Crow for sharing this wonderful book with us. All opinions - and procrastination - our own.