A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids will learn about different time zones and nocturnal animals and encounter some sophisticated vocabulary, including "insomniacs," "telescope," "lynx," "aardvark," and "bandicoot."
You don't have to be afraid of the dark, and it's fine to live differently than everybody else.
Positive Role Models
Mother is shown to have an interesting scientific job as an astronomer, while Father is in a creative field as a photographer. Mika is open-minded and curious and enjoys learning about nocturnal animals and enjoying other aspects of life at night, including shopping at the flower market and going to the bakery, "where the dough rose with the sun." The family works together to find a solution to their problem.
Violence & Scariness
No violence, but there's a scene in which scores of bats are hanging in a cave and then suddenly fly out en masse, squealing.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Insomniacs is a delightfully original picture book about a family that, after moving through 12 time zones, finds they can no longer sleep at night. They try and try, but ultimately they decide to do their living at night and sleep during the day. Kids will enjoy seeing normal routines turned upside down and finding out that maybe the dark isn't as scary as they thought.
Is It Any Good?
THE INSOMNIACS is tantalizingly unusual and sure to draw kids into its topsy-turvy world. Most kids are at least somewhat scared of the dark. But this offbeat charmer shows a whole family learning to love the dark and be fine with living differently than everybody else.
The slightly creepy but very appealing sytylized illustrations by the Brothers Hilts mix a hint of Edward Gorey and a smidge of Humpty Dumpty (in Father's extensive bald pate) to create three lovable oddballs who make the best out of an unusual condition: not being able to sleep at night. Should make perfect bedtime reading.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.