The Insomniacs by Karina Wolf: Unleashing the Night Owl In All of Us

Who said that bedtime always has to be after dark? Seriously…who decided? Why not rest up during the day, and enjoy the quiet peaceful night? You and your family may be surprised at your pleasant findings. No busy shops, unique kinds critters, and a world bathed in moonlight-in “The Insomniacs” that’s really all you need-and perhaps they’re on to something.

The Insomniacs by Karina Wolf.


A family, aptly referred to as ‘the Insomniacs’,’ has been forced to move 12 time zones away from where they used to live, due to Mrs. Insomniacs new job. They used to be awake during the day and sleep at night, just like everyone else, but when they move they find they cannot adjust to the time shift at all. Try as they might, they always wake up at night. Little Mika gets sent home from school when falling asleep in class, Mother (as she is now referred to) falls asleep over the desk at her new job, and Father takes about 40 pictures at his studio, and then passes out.

One night they gather around the table. They’ve tried everything-from drinking mug after mug of milk to counting as high as one-thousand-but nothing does the trick. They decide to seek counsel with bears-as they are the animal they deemed most knowledgeable about sleep, seeing as how they hibernate for so long. On their journey they do not find bears, but make a different kind of discovery than they expected. The world comes alive at night! It fills itself with creatures that tuck up during the day, while the stars and moon shine down and show the world in a different, soothing, kind of light.

So the Insomniacs become true insomniacs’. When they wake at dusk, Mother tends a cactus that grows in moonlight, and father watches the evening news while Mika enjoys the company of nocturnal animals in her room.

While living like this, the sunlight occasionally peeks through the blinds as they get ready for bed-but squinting at its harsh glare, the family decides they really do like living at night better.

inside the insomniacs


Unique, creative, and expressive illustrations fill up the entire pages of the book in shades of blues and black, punctured by bits and pieces of color here and there. The world depicted looks so pleasant and beautiful, it makes you seriously considering avoiding the headache of daytime yourself and becoming a creature of the night.

Thin and sketchy lines create angular characters that aren’t a far cry from looking very similar to the Adam’s family. In fact, it’s a wonder the Insomniacs ever did live in the daytime-they look like they were born to live at night (and maybe they were!)

The artists behind the artwork are The Brothers Hilts (comprised of Ben & Sean Hilts) who are an illustrating team that works together to come up with fantastical drawings. They lend their talents beautifully to this book, and it’s a joy to simply look it, as well as to read.


Overall Opinion

This would make a great bedtime read, or daytime read. I myself would find the night life a bit lonely, but kids love the notion of staying up after dark, and they will consequently get hooked easily on the concept of the book. With the fabulous illustrations that fill pages top to bottom, and unique characters with an even more unique lifestyle, “The Insomniacs” speaks to the night owl in all of us-whether you have a bedtime or not.

buy it

The Insomniacs by Karina Wolf.

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