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New York Times bestselling picture-book author Amy Krouse Rosenthal teams with McSweeney’s regular Gracia Lam to tell the sweet, simple story of a young child’s typical day—from morning to bedtime. Each scene is described in three-word “ABC” phrases, such as “Awake Beautiful Child.” Secret “ABC” scenes hidden throughout the artwork—as a secondary “seek and find” game of sorts—will encourage multiple readings and reward close-looking. An ideal read-aloud book to read just after waking or just before bed.

Praise for Awake Beautiful Child:

“The wordplay is delightful, and somehow, perhaps in part by embracing the restriction of using just three letters, Rosenthal conveys a message of gratitude for all the wonder that can be found if you really dig into the repetitive routines of our days. Lam’s soft digital art has a retro inflection, but each page is a marvel of freewheeling graphic design, with curvy lines echoing one another and subtle patterning everywhere. Like every alphabet book, the art really matters, since what you see on the page has no organic or predictable relation to a story: You have to pause to figure out what is going on. It’s fantastic that the time you spend looking at these pages is so full of enchantment.”
The New York Times

“Beginning with a morning stretch and ending with a flick of the bedroom light switch, readers follow various children in their daily routines. The entire text is composed of three-word phrases that begin with the consecutive letters A, B, and C. Some are simple lists: “Apples, Bananas, Cantaloupes” at the breakfast table, or “Ants, Butterflies, Caterpillars” during a walk. But others are beautiful reminders (“Always Be Curious”) or silly words of wisdom (“Avoid Blinking—Cheese!” during a photograph).”

“Rosenthal again demonstrates her ability to use wordplay to create stories with real emotional depth as she follows children through a day, described only in three-word, A-B-C phrases… Illustrator Lam’s debut couldn’t be more polished and confident: her palette seems to shift with the day’s waxing and waning light, while her crisp, screenprintlike images have an understated poise and precision that highlights the quiet magic of everyday moments.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Toronto illustrator Gracia Lam lends her artistic talent to American author Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s gorgeous and whimsical picture book, which uses the first three letters of the alphabet as the jumping-off point for a series of three-word phrases describing everyday events. A birthday party scene features Lam’s stylized, retro-tinged illustrations rendered in ombré pinks and purples and Rosenthal’s quirky wordplay: ‘Another Bright Candle,’ ‘Atop Birthday Cake,’ ‘Amazing Balloon Creation.’ Awake Beautiful Child is a visual treat, and a fun twist on the alphabet book.”
Quill & Quire

The Boston Globe