Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Today's read... All Through the Night by Polly Faber

When I saw today's read, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I was a huge fan of busy picture books, when I was were my own kids. I don't see these very often, since times have changed and picture books tend to wander toward other themes. So, this one...I'm a treat.

Ready to see if it was what I was hoping it'd be? 

People Who Work While We Sleep
by Polly Faber
Illustrated by Harriet Hobday
Candlewick Press
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 to 8


A beautifully illustrated picture book exploration of the jobs that keep a city running all through the night, and make it ready for the new day.

The sky is getting dark. In a big city, a little girl is eating her dinner, brushing her teeth and getting ready for bed. Meanwhile, her mother is putting on her coat and getting ready to go to work. But where will she go, and who will she see along the way? As the night goes on, follow nurses, cleaners, delivery workers, doctors, police officers, journalists and many more.

Meet the people doing the important jobs that help keep the city running all through the night, ready for the next day to come.



Every page bubbles with life and activity, celebrating all those people who keep the world running.

It starts with a little girl going to bed as her mother heads out to work her night shift at work. Once the mother walks out the door, she passes many others who are also on their way to their jobs or already working. And it's not just a few individuals, either.

First off, the illustrations are well done and really draw in. With beautiful blues, the night atmosphere radiates softly in the background and holds its hue as a constant reminder that much of the world is sleeping. Yet, the colors and details are impossible to ignore...and there are quite a few of them. Young listeners have more than a few things to search and gaze at, allowing them to discover something new with every read. 

The text is simple and kept short, letting listeners know what to see but leaving the rest to the illustrations. Most of the jobs mentioned are familiar, and some might surprise young listeners. It does raise awareness to how many people are actually active during the night to keep life as we know it running the way it does. It's a wonderful way to expand young listeners' views on life around them and does raise the respect they'll have for these many individuals and jobs.

And here they are...

Polly Faber lives in London with her husband, sons, and two black and white cats called Alan and Babs. She worked as a midwife and a sandwich maker before becoming a writer, and has also mashed potatoes for Prince Edward’s dinner. Her best impression is of a tortoise eating a strawberry.

As a child, Harriet Hobday would spend hours drawing what was around her and filling sketchbooks with imagined characters and scenes. Little did she know that she would become a (real!) Illustrator for a living. She left her hometown of Yorkshire to embark on an undergraduate degree in Illustration at The Cambridge School of Art, where she stayed on to study the esteemed MA in Children’s Book Illustration. It was during this time that she developed her love of storytelling and limited colour palettes.

Following graduation she moved to Edinburgh, where she was inspired by the impressive architecture and buildings became a recurring theme in her work. Since then she has returned home to Yorkshire, where she spends her days making books, causing havoc in the kitchen and watching videos of Elephant Shrews ( If you don’t know them – look them up!)

She was selected for THE BOOKSELLER’s Illustrator Showcase and The Cheltenham Illustration Awards, was runner up in The Batsford Prize, and has been highly commended in the ‘The Macmillan Prize’ for Children’s Illustration.

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