Before I Wake Up... by Britta Teckentrup

Before I Wake Up...

Written by Britta Teckentrup
Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

April 2016 Book of the Month A little girl’s dreams take her and a friendly lion on a magical journey. Together they fly over meadows, swim deep in the sea with whales and jellyfish, and explore woods where they play with wild creatures, until the night ends. Britta Teckentrup’s textured collage style illustrations create scenes that are full of depth and atmosphere and very beautiful to look at. The palette changes from the light grey of dusk through the dark shades of deepest night, the green of the sea and the mottled shadows of the forest, until the new day begins with a burst of bright, warm yellow. The story gives children a wild adventure, in the company of a trusted friend, and the illustrations are perfect works of art. ~ Andrea Reece


Before I Wake Up... by Britta Teckentrup

A young girl falls asleep and travels in her dreams through the sky, down to the ocean's depths and into a jungle. She is accompanied by a lion friend, who eases her fears, gives her confidence and helps her explore the world around her. Along the way she meets whales, jellyfish, grizzly bears and wolves. Then it is time for the moon balloon to take the girl home to her bed, where she awakes, snuggled safely next to the lion, who returns to being a stuffed toy.

Award-winning children's illustrator Britta Teckentrup's collage-like artwork creates a magical world of captivating colours, classic shapes and softly detailed textures. The gently told story reassures children that they are never alone, even in their dreams. Exquisitely produced, this book is certain to become a bedtime favourite for children and their parents.


The plot is simple and lovely, perfect for bedtime. The color palette that Britta [Teckentrup] uses is dark, earthy, and calming with the occasional brilliant pop of color. Her text has that [bedtime] lulling rhythm ... and is simply magical. Britta Teckentrup is fast becoming one of my favorites and this book does not disappoint. I fell head-over-heels in love with the cover the moment I saw it and fell equally in love with the interior. It is breath-taking. My favorite part is as morning approaches beautiful hues of yellow and gold flood her illustrations and one of the last lines she pairs with it is 'When I wake up, the sun kisses my skin.

-Book Nerd Mommy

Britta Teckentrup's Before I Wake Up... is the story of a girl who travels through a dreamworld with her stuffed lion . . . The doll becomes more and more animated as the illustrations progress: in the first few, we see the lion looking exactly the same, but eventually he begins to loosen up, and we get to see his handsome little mane blowing in the wind on a boat. The lion acts as a security blanket, accompanying the little girl on her journey into the dreamworld, first as an observer, then as an active participant, always keeping her safe.

This is a gorgeous book about all of the dreams a little girl has before she wakes up. This is one of those books where the illustrations really tell the story.

Britta Teckentrup, a renowned children's author and illustrator, has written a delightful new book about dreams and is sure to be a great addition to bedtime collections. Dreams can be scary for children, and this story will assure children that dreams can be a magical experience . . . Teckentrup's use of rich dark colors to illustrate night adventures is magical. Each page of nighttime adventures is illustrated with large pictures that will engage young children . . . The progression from light to dark colors concludes with the use of bright yellow when the young girl awakens to a new day. She awakens with the words -Let the new day begin!- Children will want to greet their new day with excitement.

In this contemplative book about dreaming, a young girl and her protective lion float into the night. They travel across the oceans so the girl can swim with sea creatures before moving on to the woods, where friendly animals implore them to stay. Although the invitation is tempting, as night fades, girl and lion part, returning to their respective homes (a stuffed lion waits for the girl at hers) to greet a new day. While floating through the air and encountering strange beasts might cause fear in some, in this case, there is little concern because of the watchful lion. With gentle, reassuring words, the sweet, rhyming text exudes comfort. White pages of text offset darkly shaded, collage-style illustrations that evoke nighttime. On the final pages, the darkness gives way to bright yellows, signaling the new day. Several wordless spreads provide opportunities for additional rumination while conveying the disorientation that dreams can cause. All dreams should be this lovely, and all new days this promising.

The lovely illustrations on matte paper are an evocative match to the simple prose, drawing readers into the child's dream. Even the binding of this well-designed book adds to its success as the large pages fall open with a satisfying sound.

This inviting look at dream time will welcome young listeners ready for sleep, while also offering opportunities to empower and assure those who are feeling more anxious about their dreams.

Britta Teckentrup ... is an award winning illustrator, author and fine artist who has written and illustrated over 80 children's picture books. Well, she has a new fan in her art. The pictures in this book are stunning! She utilizes mixed media and textures in her art that give it a special kind of depth. While some of the pages are sparse and dark, they are there to highlight that times can be challenging. Once the duo weathers the storm, the tone of the pictures changes and wordless spreads help communicate how full of happiness the little girl is.

Teckentrup is one of the most prolific illustrators on the picture book scene. This beautiful meditation on a little girl's dreams is the perfect bedtime read.

Oh what sweet story filled with the magic and imagination that all kids can enjoy! Your little one will not be able to help but wanting to see where this adventure takes them next! It's beautifully written and full of fun! The perfect story to send your little one off to sleep with big dreams.

This would be a wonderful bed time story for young children, and would be a great addition to any family library. Created by the world-renowned children's author and illustrator Britta Teckentrup, Before I Wake Up (Prestel, May 2016) delivers a dreamy, colorful nighttime journey that will captivate and soothe young children everywhere . . . Teckentrup's collage-like artwork creates a magical world of captivating colors, classic shapes, and softly detailed textures. The gently told story reassures children that they are never alone, even in their dreams.

Britta Techentrup's work is utterly sublime and we are never disappointed by her offerings, but her latest book Before I Wake Up... has to be one of our favorites to date.

Written in poetry fashion, I like the contrasting colors and art. Perhaps best for very young children.

Before I Wake Up... is a touching bedtime progression of dream images that contains a reassuring core concept of feeling safe, loved and protected through a journey of slumber. Stunning, soft dark textured colors pervade the collage-like artwork, following a girl and her lion companion through exploring many new places, meeting wild animals in a wood on a mysterious path. The girl is unafraid, for her lion companion looms large by her side, always protecting her. Although the girl is tempted to stay in the night wood, she feels the night lightening towards a new day, and runs with her brave lion out of the red jungle toward morning's light. The girl says goodbye to her nighttime companion and travels, and is transported magically to a wonderful new day, with her favorite stuffed lion toy companion still by her side. Before I Wake Up... is filled with poetic imagery and quiet thoughts that have deep appeal to young children, especially at bedtime.

Britta Teckentrup['s]...illustrations are as magically wonderful as ever . . . Teckentrup establishes a dream landscape in a variety of ways. Sometimes the narrator is seen multiple times on a page, sometimes she seems to float across the page . . . While I am a big fan of Teckentrup's style, I think that my favorite thing about Before I Wake Up... is the book itself . . . This gorgeously designed printed on thick matte paper with a sturdy paper-over-board cover and stitched binding that makes reading it a multi-sense experience. Before I Wake Up... is a memorable book that children will cherish, but also one that makes a beautiful gift.

A little girl dreams and is accompanied in her dream travels by her stuffed lion friend, who becomes real. He holds her when she is frightened and goes with her, traveling on foot, flying and sailing. They meet all sorts of wild creatures that are friendly. But when the morning's light comes, they run through the red jungle back home to bed where a new day begins. The story is written in rhyme and is a reassuring explanation of dreams for the very young.

About the Author

Britta Teckentrup

Britta Teckentrup has written and illustrated over 80 picture books, which have been published in over 20 different countries. As well as producing many best-sellers, Britta
has won numerous awards including a Special Mention at the Bologna Ragazzi, Most Innovative Picture Book at the Junior Design Awards and her recent bestseller Bee, has been shortlisted for the 2017 Independent Booksellers Award. After 17 years in the UK, Britta
now lives and works in Berlin with her Scottish husband, son Vincent and their old cat Oskar. Follow Britta on Instagram here.

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Book Info


56 pages
Interest Age: From 0 to 5 years


Britta Teckentrup
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Publication date

1st April 2016




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