Leave Your Sleep by Natalie Merchant

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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 Nathalia 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.

About Natalie Merchant

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Natalie Merchant is a musician who for the past 30 years has been recognized as one of America's most gifted singer-songwriters.She lives in the Hudson Valley of New York. Barbara McClintock has written and illustrated many distinguished books for young readers, including Adele & Simon. Her books have been named four times to the New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year list. She lives in Windham, Connecticut.
Published November 13, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 48 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Leave Your Sleep

Kirkus Reviews

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For her 2010 hit album with the same title, Merchant composed music for 30 19th- and 20th-century British and American poems, some written for children and some written about childhood.

Sep 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Leave Your Sleep

Publishers Weekly

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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 collaborati...

Oct 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Leave Your Sleep

BC Books

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If I had to choose, I'd feel obligated to mention: the modern pop (by way of The Beach Boys) sounds of "It Makes A Change," the Eastern vibe of "The King of China's Daughter," the country blues of "The Peppery Man," the slinky reggae of "Topsy-turvey World," the swanky, old-world jazz of "The Jan...

Apr 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Leave Your Sleep

BC Books

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She may be visiting genres that are new to her catalog (Merchant has said her musical interests go far beyond what we've heard from her so far), but there's not a hint of discomfort in her new surroundings.

Apr 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Leave Your Sleep


Three-year-olds will love the music and enjoy hearing some of the poems while ten-year-olds will enjoy reading the poems to themselves and enjoy the illustrations (and probably the music, as well).

Dec 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Leave Your Sleep


It could have been one holy mess steered by someone less accomplished but Merchant has roped in some of the world’s greatest musicians and turned a selection of timeless poetry from the likes of Ogden Nash, Edward Lear and Robert Graves into a set of songs.

Apr 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Leave Your Sleep

The Sydney Morning Herald

In the seven years since her daughter was born, Natalie Merchant's curiosity about childhood has grown from lullabies and nursery rhymes to a centuries-deep exploration of universal truth in poetry.

Apr 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Leave Your Sleep


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Rolling Stone

As a member of 10,000 Maniacs and a solo artist, Natalie Merchant showed that her best traits were her refined taste and fetching, earthy voice.

May 10 2010 | Read Full Review of Leave Your Sleep

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