Everyone Sleeps by Marcellus Hall

Anyone who has lain hopelessly awake in bed after trying in vain to sleep, will be able to identify with the unlikely protagonist in Everyone Sleeps: a pet pug named Conrad, who seems to be the only one in the house who has trouble sleeping.

While lamenting about his sleeplessness, Conrad goes for a long walk and talks about how and/or where other animals — including squirrels, ducks, frogs, polar bears, walruses, monkeys and, naturally, sheep — sleep. Just when he thinks he’s alone in his predicament, however, he discovers someone else who is as wide awake as he is…

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The text, written in dreamy rhyming prose, has a gentle rhythm and is pleasant to read, while the gorgeous ink/watercolour/gouache illustrations are evocative and have a unique style about them. The muted colours of the artwork also give this book an appropriately sleepy feel.

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While its central theme of ‘how animals sleep’ has been explored in many other books, the unique plot device of an insomniac pug gives it a fresh spin and makes it a worthwhile addition to the legion of existing bedtime/sleep-related children’s books.

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