Patrick the Somnambulist, written and illustrated by Sarah Ackerley
To all of the tedious, obvious, cheery-fake picture books that try to demonstrate that Being Different Has Hidden Benefits! REALLY! Your Love of Ballet / Eccentricity / Fashion Sense / Favorite Color / Intelligence / Strabismus / Bipedalism / Love of Poetry / Lack of Athleticism / Species / Size / Diet / Unusual Color Makes You Special (and ok, most of these books are neither tedious nor obvious, I am just being lazy, because I tend not to remember books I don't like) - I finally have a response: LOOK AT THIS ONE.
Patrick is a normal penguin kid who is also a sleepwalker. His concerned parents take him to therapy. The therapist confirms that Patrick is a normal penguin kid who is also a sleepwalker. Teaches Patrick a fancy word for himself - somnambulist. Patrick adores his new word, is empowered by it, does great things under its imprimatur. Goes on Conan. Becomes a multi-millionaire at the age of six.
The little full-page watercolor illustrations are witty and sweet, done in a rather somber nighttime palette that in no way harshes the happy, giggly mellow of the text. Love the mute, soulful penguin expressions (no mouths on these penguins and yet we know just what they're thinking). Kids will get a laugh out of all the odd situations Patrick finds himself in as a result of his sleepwalking, and parents will surreptitiously enjoy, "At first his parents just thought he was just weird."
Who hasn't thought that at one time or another?Endpaper bonus: Patrick wrapped in toilet paper, rocking an umbrella, and wearing a plunger on his head.