The Insomniacs

By Karina Wolf
Ilustrated by The BROTHERS HILTS.
Published in 2012 by The Penguin Group.
I would suggest this book for ages 5-8, and children that enjoy creepy illustrations.

Here it is on Amazon: Click.

Again, another strange picture book.  Initially it caught my eye because of the illustration. ( I’m very into Tim Burton-isk illustrations.)  Upon reading this book however, I found that the author, Karina Wolf, decides to use all three characters, Mother, Father and Mika, collectively.  I think this story would have been stronger had she made it more towards Mika’s point of view.

The story itself seems to be about one page too many, and it has many un-harmonious colors (e.g. Blue pages and then red/yellow pages).  Though I appreciate the primary color use, its very startling to turn the page from a blue, dark page to an extremely bright yellow one. Though, the colors I can blame on the illustrator.  Not a bad idea as far as using color to display the startling/unwelcome change from night to morning (yellow) or dusk (red), but I can’t say it was a decision that made me like the book more.

As far as the story, the fact that the author uses three different characters as one makes it hard for me to relate to them.  I feel really distant from the story.  Even though the problem of the story, the Insomnics not being able to sleep, is solved by the child, Mika, it’s still hard for me as an adult to find a real interest in the story, or the Insomnics’ problem.

If I had a child, I wouldn’t be sure if they would really want me to read this story again.  Though, I could see where a child might love the illustrations and have me read it just for the illustrations.  I’m also not sure if the concept of Insomnic would be grasped by a child. I can, however, see my little nine year-old cousin claiming to be an Insomnic and refusing to go to bed because the Insomnics never had to sleep at night.

These are just my own opinions on the work, but I think you should try to find it in a nearby store or library.  It’s still worth a look-at, if nothing else.


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