While the World Is Sleeping
by Pamela Duncan Edwards
ill. by Daniel Kirk
A magnificent snowy owl appears at a child’s bedroom window with the invitation to “climb aboard” on a soaring ride through the moonlit night. Together, the owl and child visit a family of deer, fish in a stream, a fox on the prowl, a family of rabbits, beavers in a stream, a porcupine, a mouse family, a snake, a raccoon, a rat and a bat – all busily at work while the world is sleeping. Lyrical rhymes and luminous illustrations bring the nocturnal world to life and reveals the interconnectedness of all living things.
Includes conversations with author and illustrator!
A sleeping child is awakened by a large owl at her window. Flying on the owl’s back, the child takes a magical journey through the night, observing various nocturnal and crepuscular (active at sunset and daybreak) animals. The voyage ends as the sun begins to rise and the youngster awakens in her bed with a familiar-looking stuffed owl by her side. The narration and musical accompaniment match the quiet tone of Pamela Duncan Edwards’ inviting bedtime story. The changing perspective of Daniel Kirk’s bold illustrations, in which some animals at times appear larger than others, might be a little confusing to young viewers who will most likely attribute these shifts to the fantasy nature of the story. Edwards and Kirk provide closing commentary, offering helpful insights into several book elements (including a definition of crespuscular). A teachers’ guide with suggested activities is available.
Booklist Online, March 2011.
This iconographic-animated adaptation of the 2010 picture book by the author Pamela Duncan Edwards and illustrator Daniel Kirk features dramatic rhyming segments highlighting creatures of the night. From Father Stag and Mother Doe, to silvery fish, foxes, a porcupine rattling quills, and even a raccoon digging through garbage cans, While the World Is Sleeping follows a little girl on a dreamlike journey astride the back of a snowy owl, combining sound effects with dark and sparkling nighttime images. DVD extras include conversations with Kirk and Edwards (who talks about how she’s been writing :”since I was a very small person”).
Starred Review. Recommended. Video Librarian, May/June 2011.
A pajama-clad girl accepts a great snowy owl’s invitation to explore the evening landscape in this bedtime story by Pamela Duncan Edwards. Over the hills and valleys they fly. Soft night music, soothing as a lullaby, evokes the magic of the owl’s flight. Rita Pardue weaves a spell as she reads this poem, with stanzas composed of three rhymed lines, followed by “while the world is sleeping.” Daniel Kirk’s full-color gouache paintings are presented iconographically with moonlight adding a touch of fantasy to images so realistic that every hair, feather, and leaf seems distinct. When the girl has seen what the owl sees, he takes her back to her room as the sun rises. The last picture shows her sleeping, a snowy owl toy tucked in bed with her. Particularly fine insights are given in a conversation with the author and the illustrator. Edwards invites youngsters to think not only about nocturnal animals but also about those that are seen in the daytime. Kirk tells of the creation of a snowy owl big enough to carry a little girl on his back. Richly satisfying.
School Library Journal, May 2011