Frances Foster Books
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux 2012
Natalie Merchant, author
Barbara McClintock, illustrator

This collection of classic children's poetry, adapted to music by Natalie Merchant, opens the door to a wondrous world filled with witches and fearless girls, blind men and elephants, giants and sailors and dancing bears. Leave Your Sleep features a daring and delightful selection, ranging from the beloved (e.e. cummings, Edward Lear, and Jack Prelutsky ) to the undiscovered ( the young Natalia Crane ). Natalie Merchant's brilliant musical renderings, selected from her highly praised album, share the stage with Barbara McClintock's richly imagined art to create a memorable reading, looking, and listening experience.

*Exhibition at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (Nov 26, 2013 - May 4, 2014)
*A Kirkus Best Children's Book of 2012
*School Library Journal's 100 Magnificent Children's Books of 2012
*Starred review in School Library Journal
*New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
*Carnegie Hall Family Concert: Natalie Merchant performed music from the book-and-music project LEAVE YOUR SLEEP with projected illustrations by Barbara McClintock. April 2014

"In 2010, Merchant released a successful album of 30 classic children’s poems that she set to music. Nineteen of these poems are now brought together in this anthology consisting of a delightful range of American and British poets from Ogden Nash and Edward Lear to Rachel Field and Jack Prelutsky. The jaunty selections feature horses, elephants, dancing bears, and wonderfully empowered children. McClintock’s detailed paintings bring inviting color and fun to the verses in both spot art and full spreads. A full-length CD of the recordings is included, making this a feast of enchanting sounds, words, and visuals–a magnificent package for any poetry collection. Back matter includes photographs of the poets included, credits and more information about the poems and the music." – Starred, School Library Journal

“A nice collaboration between two stars in their own fields that should lure children even deeper into the magical world of poetry.”— Booklist

In 2010, singer-songwriter Merchant released the recording Leave Your Sleep, a set of songs adapted from poems for and about children. As the title suggests, these poems—from the likes of Ogden Nash, e.e. cummings, and Charles Causley—carry a hint of the uncanny, and Merchant enthusiastically engages with klezmer, Dixieland jazz, zydeco, and other musical styles. “[P]oetry on the page can be difficult to penetrate; sometimes it needs to be heard,” Merchant writes in her introduction to this print compendium, which provides 19 poems (seven fewer than the album) and a tie-in CD. McClintock contributes nostalgic illustrations that evoke the 1860s to 1920s. Fittingly, Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Land of Nod” leads the selections, and McClintock offers a quaint forest path, complete with dainty mouse parade, insect orchestra, and wonderland child. McClintock channels Randolph Caldecott in her sequence of circus pictures for Rachel Field’s “Equestrienne” and recalls the collaborations of Shepard and Milne when she illustrates Edward Lear’s “Calico Pie.” As curious as can be—in the Victorian sense of the word—this collaboration transports readers and listeners on multiple sensory levels. — Publishers' Weekly

"A classy bit of bookmaking." — The Horn Book
“A musical treat for parents as well as their children.” — Kirkus

Buy Now