The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town

By Judy Sierra
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Published by Random House Children's Books

Judy Sierra’s rollicking alphabet story features the lowercase letters of the alphabet. Like children, they have a trunkful of tricks for putting off bedtime. But ultimately their moms and dads (the capital letters) succeed in tucking them in with a good-night kiss. Melissa Sweet’s watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations enliven these little letters with animated expressions, and Judy Sierra’s brief rhyming story begs repeat readings at bedtime.


  • “Using humor perfectly tuned for the two- to five-year-old audience, Sierra and Sweet’s alphabet book will capture the attention of the younger end…as well as the older.’”
    —The Horn Book Magazine, STARRED REVIEW

    “The illustrator's blocky letters sport pop-eyes and toothy grins. She intersperses plenty of additional objects beginning with the letters featured on each pastel spread, providing parents and kids with opportunities to linger and learn. By letters v and w, the transition from pre-bedtime chaos to irrefutable tiredness is complete, and the final spread depicts a veritable dormitory of typographic drowsing. Capital!”
    —Kirkus Reviews

    “Sweet extrapolates the effect of Sierra's alliterative text with perfectly timed, amusing details (it really wouldn't be an alphabet book without that xylophone, would it?). Parents and children, librarians, teachers, and students will pore over this one again and again.”
    —School Library Journal

    “Throughout, Sierra inserts vocabulary items that incorporate the letters ("u takes off his underwear") while Sweet provides the laughs (u's gleeful bucktoothed grin as he tosses a pair of outsize polka-dot bloomers in the air). The adults are pictured as capital letters, as they attempt to shepherd their children through their nightly routines. Sweet fills each room with alphabetically appropriate accessories: the X and Y family has a framed yo-yo championship award, while the Ts have a telephone, a tortoise and a tea set. Textiles, loose-leaf binder paper and newsprint are used judiciously for visual interest, while the letters' goggle eyes, toothy smiles and emotive expressions all spell F-U-N.”
    —Publishers Weekly