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Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book facts for kids

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Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book
Dr Seuss Sleep Book.jpg
Author Dr. Seuss
Illustrator Dr. Seuss
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Random House
Publication date
1962 (renewed 1990)
Pages 56
ISBN 978-0-394-80091-2
OCLC 181508
LC Class PZ8.3.G276 Do
Preceded by The Sneetches and Other Stories 
Followed by Dr. Seuss's ABC 

Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book, commonly referred to as The Sleep Book, is a children's book written by Dr. Seuss in 1962. The story centers on the activity of sleep as readers follow the journey of many different characters preparing to slip into a deep slumber. This book documents the different sleeping activities that some of the creatures join in on: Jo and Mo Redd-Joff participate in competitive sleep talking and a group “near Finnigan Fen” enjoys group sleepwalking. It opens with a small bug, named Van Vleck, yawning. This single yawn sets off a chain reaction, effectively putting “ninety-nine zillion nine trillion and two” creatures to sleep.


The book is written in the style of a reporter on the news who is reporting on the number of sleepers in the world. The book starts with a "very small bug" named Van Vleck yawning. The narrator then tells the reader that this is very important news and goes on to explain that a yawn is contagious and will cause sleep across the countryside.

The narrator then takes us around the world to various locations where people are going to sleep, such as Herk-Heimer Falls, the Castle of Krupp, and the towns of Culppeper Springs and Mercedd. Various silly groups of people go to sleep together, such as a "Hinkle Horn Honking Club." Various creatures go to sleep too, such as a Collapsible Frink and the Chippendale Mupp. The narrator explains that they count the number of people and creatures asleep using an "Audio Telly O-Tally O-Count" which spies on people to know when they went to bed.

The narrator then explores the latest news in the sports of sleeptalking and sleepwalking before returning to the previous standard of discussing various locations (such as the Zwieback Motel and the District of Dofft) and creatures (such as the Foona Lagoona Baboona and a Jedd. Then the book explains that "Ninety Nine Zillion, Nine Trillion and Two" creatures are asleep and then asks "What about you?" The final line of the book is a "Good night," which is unmetered.


Theodor Seuss Geisel, more popularly known as Dr. Seuss, published his first children’s book in 1937 after it was rejected 27 times by publishers. His first big success, Cat in the Hat, occurred in 1957; it was instantly received well and was regarded with praise. From there, Dr. Seuss went on to write 45 books for children’s literature including The Lorax, Green Eggs and Ham, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and Oh, The Places You'll Go!. Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book was his 21st children’s book, following The Sneetches and Other Stories in 1961 and preceding Dr. Seuss's ABC in 1963. In 1993, Random House Home Video released this book from Dr. Seuss Video Classics (which premiered after Hunches in Bunches) on VHS and it was narrated by Madeline Kahn.


Similarly to his other books, Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book is a fictional book classified under children’s literature and characterized by its rhythmic sequence. His illustrations are known to depict a wide variety of unique creatures and odd relationships.

Dr. Seuss uses his standard red yellow and turquoise colors, only deviating from this pattern to add hints of purple and one orange Moose Juice alongside a green Goose Juice.

Changes from Earlier Drafts

Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book went through several iterations before the final draft was cemented. In an early draft, the County of Keck was named the County of Teck and Van Vleck, Van Geck . In another draft, the book included a stanza which reads

A report just came in from the Island of Krox

That a Snidd has taken off both of his socks

And has hung them with care on the edge of his chair And is now fast asleep with a rose in his hair

In another draft, the narrator is from "The Nightly News about just who's taking their nightly snooze."

Book Information

Format: Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-394-80091-2

Category: Juvenile Fiction - Bedtime & DreamsJuvenile Fiction - Bedtime & DreamsJuvenile Fiction - Stories In Verse

Author: Dr. Seuss

Also Available: Also available as an eBook.

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