Oh, Are You Awake?

Oh, Are You Awake?
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
April 02, 2024
Buy This Book
It’s sleepy time for Lion and Penguin. Correction: it should be sleepy time for Lion and Penguin, but Lion’s eyes aren’t tired, and his ears would like a story. Penguin, however, is tired and nods off into sweet candy dreams—until a noise wakes him. “Oh, are you awake?” asks Lion sweetly, seated before a drum set. “Let’s have that story, then!” “Not now. It is time to close your eyes and dream dreams.” And so it goes, with an ever-more-disgruntled Penguin trying to nod off while an exuberant Lion innocently practices his drumming, bounces on his squeaky trampoline, and munches on his crunchy chips. Will Penguin need to resort to extreme measures to get his friend to sleep, or has the answer been there all along? Bob Shea’s signature wit, delivered only in dialogue, and Jarvis’s unassuming, retro art and knack for visual humor are sure to delight young readers—and their caregivers—whether at naptime, bedtime, or anytime.

Editor review

1 review
Good Night, Sleep Tight, and Pleasant Dreams To You
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Penguin is exhausted, and tells his friend Lion that it is time to go to sleep. Lion would rather stay up, but Penguin goes to sleep on top of Lion's head and has lovely dreams about candy. He is rudely awakened by an enormous crash that Lion causes. He reminds Lion that it is time to sleep, and floats off again, dreaming of flying with a unicorn until Lion's chip eating rouses him. Lion claims that he was being quiet, and Penguin again drifts off into a world where he is the conductor of a puppy train. This crashes when Lion is hopping on a trampoline. Lion wants to hear all about Penguin's exquisite dreams, so Penguin caves and starts to tell Lion a story. This, of course, makes the Lion drowsy, and the two friends are able to slip into slumber and dream all manner of amazing things.

Good Points
Shea's simple drawings express lots of emotions; Penguin's sleep-deprived eyes are particularly well done. The real life moments occur on a white background, which makes the candy colored dreamscapes really pop. The digitally done illustrations have a slight collage feel to them, and something about Lion give this book a 1960s vibe, which is becoming so common that maybe it's just a 2020s vibe now!

What small child doesn't want to have dreams about candy, flying with a unicorn, or being on a train full of puppies? Not only should this book calm down even the rowdiest bedtime naysayers, but it should give them plenty of scope for their imagination and lead to interesting conversations about dreams the following morning.

There are plenty of books about reluctant sleepers, and this is a fun one to add to the mix, along with Hong's Happy Dreams, Little Bunny, Cummins' Sleepy Sheepy and the Sheepover, and Pizzoli's Goodnight, Owl. Who knew that animals had such a hard time falling asleep!
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