Thursday, November 20, 2008

Patrick the Somnambulist - written and illustrated by Sarah Ackerly

I fell in love with a penguin today.  His name is Patrick.  He may seem like a normal penguin because he eats normal food like spaghetti and he plays normal games like chess, but sometimes Patrick wakes up in the middle of the night to find himself doing things that are anything but normal.  At first, when his parents find him in the middle of the night hiding in the mailbox or wrapped in toilet paper wearing a plunger on his head, they think Patrick is just weird, but as his antics go on, they worry there might really be something wrong with him.  

After a trip to the doctor, Patrick discovers 
that he is a Somnambulist (AKA a sleepwalker).  Patrick is not distressed by this title, he's claims it with pride and is perfectly happy to be not-quite-normal after all.  With his newfound confidence, he begins to do amazing 
things.  You really have to read this book to see what that clever penguin is up to.

Sarah Ackerley's beautiful pen and watercolor illustrations add so much to her witty text.  I was amazed by how much emotion she was able to convey with such simple drawings of penguins.  Just look how anguished Patrick's parents appear to be in this illustration.  

Kids will get a big kick out of the funny things Patrick does in his sleep, while parents will be laughing out loud as the recognize penguin versions of the human world (my favorite is the Conan O'Brianesque penguin interviewing Patrick on a talkshow).

The downside to this book is that this is Sarah's first book, so you can't rush out to pick up another book about Patrick, and believe me, you will want to.  To tide you over in the meantime you can check out her online portfolio or her blog.


Lindsay said...

I love being amazed at simple drawings with so emotion--how do they do that? Thank you for reviewing this book I can't wait to check it out. My kids and I LOVE a funny book!

Andrea -- Just One More Book!! Podcast said...

Yay Patrick!!
We love this one too!

Andrea -- Just One More Book!! Podcast said...

ps. Is it ok for me to be cheering for the Cybils book I nominated on a Judge's site??? If not, feel free to delete the Yay Patrick, above....

Charlotte said...

I will look for this one for my penguin loving son!

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