Friday, March 20, 2009

Patrick the Somnambulist

One of my classmates, from when I was working on my M.Ed., published a children's picture book last year. Sarah Ackerley wrote and illustrated Patrick the Somnambulist, which is recommended for children 4 to 8 years old. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend any of her book signings, but I did find an autographed copy in-store.

Patrick is a penguin, "a pretty normal penguin. He ate normal food. He played normal games, and had plenty of normal friends. But sometimes, just sometimes, Patrick would wake up, in the middle of the night... and find himself in a not-so-normal situation."

Patrick's parents thought his behavior strange, and they eventually decided to take him to see a doctor. After lots of questions, the doctor announced that Patrick was a somnambulist...

Now, this is just a fancy work for sleepwalker, but Patrick thought it was pretty cool all the same. "I'm Patrick the Somnambulist!" he declared.
After this, Patrick's parents were more understanding of his unusual behavior.

And, amazingly, with his newfound confidence in being...
"Patrick the Somnambulist,"
Patrick began to do some very remarkable things in his sleep.
He became rich and famous, and when asked about what made him successful, he would say "It's all in a good night's sleep."

Patrick's is a bit of a silly story: it is common for him to wear a plunger on his head when he sleepwalks, and his sleepwalking accomplishments are wildly unrealistic, but that's what makes it entertaining. And, for any child who might also be or know a somnambulist (it's an issue I've never had to deal with), it can let them know that it's nothing to be ashamed of...

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