Review of ‘I’m Still Awake Still’
Written and illustrated by Elizabeth Honey. Music composed by Sue Johnson
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Age Range: Early Childhood – 80
Themes: bedtime, music, song, rhyme, family, dreams, animals, imagination, lullaby.
To add this book to your home, school or library collection please click on image or title links.
I would like to thank Elizabeth Honey and Sue Johnson for providing the soundtrack for bedtime in our family for six years now. I do not know why I have not shared this book and accompanying CD before. Perhaps I have subconsciously wanted to keep it just for us! There are plenty of books with accompany audio CDs but this is possibly the best I’ve come across (although Dame Edna reading the ‘Olivia’ books would be close second!). ‘I’m Still Awake Still’ contains the audio of the book being read by author/illustrator Elizabeth Honey, along with eight songs which are all so beautiful and so different that you will want to play them night after night we do.
I am no singer. In fact when I sing along with ChickPea/The Wild Thing she often stops her singing to wave her finger at me and say ‘STOP singing mummy’. However, the first song on the CD accompanying this story, ‘Goodnight my Little Darling’, is sung almost every night in our house and with no complaint. It has become a part of what we do each night, as has the line ‘I’ll love you forever, I’ll love you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be’…which is a line from our other favourite bedtime book, ‘Love You Forever’. ChickPea often sings the goodnight song to ‘Darling’ (her favourite ugly doll) through the day as she drags poor Darling from pillar to post.
My other favourite song is ‘Goodnight Gumboots’, firstly for the fabulous beat, and secondly for the fact that any song in which bedroom objects come to life has to be a winner.
The story in the book is about main character, ‘Fiddy’, as he goes to bed and has a bit of trouble sleeping. Different members of his extended family all spend some time with him and help to lull him to sleep with song and imagination. The illustrations by Elizabeth Honey are beautiful and soft and extend the text and the accompanying songs in a magical way. I love that Fiddy’s rainbow pyjamas are coming to life with an entire landscape – ChickPea is hopeful she will one day pyjamas like these.
I am so excited to be taking PudStar to see the musical, ‘Still Awake Still’ when it tours in June as part of ‘Out of the Box’ festival. Though the musical is not based on the book, it is inspired by songs from the book and I cannot wait to hear more of the wondrous music! A production by Jump Leads and Jessica Wilson, ‘Still Awake Still’ is inspired by parents’ daily challenge of putting their little ones to bed and explores the tussle between order and chaos, rest and play, reason and intuition. Book here and come join PudStar and I!
My only quibble with this book is that I very often find myself humming ‘Goodnight Gumboots’ all day, unable to get the tune out of my head…
Teachers’ notes are here.
Another of my favourite Elizabeth Honey books is ‘Ten Blue Wrens and What a Lot of Wattle’ which I have reviewed here.Booktopia. You can also compare prices on Fishpond and Bookworld for Australian purchases.If you live in the US or would prefer to use Amazon click here. If you live in the UK or would prefer to use Book Depository click here. Purchases clicked through from the Children’s Books Daily site result in a small commission. Commission is used in part to maintain Children’s Books Daily and to support community groups which connect children with books.