When Everyone Was Fast Asleep the fog wakes up the narrators with Token and off to the king’s ball they go. Along the way, they have a few small adventures and at the end of the night, the two of them are happy and tucked safely back into their beds.
When Everyone Was Fast Asleep is a much more poetic story than other books by Tomie dePaola. It also is a less solid story than usual (there is a story yet, it is no Strega Nona). Yet, despite this, it is a sweet and good story about the magic of the night. (Such as one should probably assume that the “Trolls” are not actually trolls, but the imagination of the characters due to the night).
I love Tomie dePaola. And on a morbid note, I know what outfit I will wear when I hear of his passing and have already planned on a three-day morning period. Therefore, he really cannot do any wrong in my eyes. However, I do have an issue with, who is Token? This is never really explained outside of the fact it is a large, magical cat you see in the illustrations, but I had to assume that was the case. Originally from 1976, as much as I enjoyed this book, I can see why it has not reached the status of Strega Nona or other books more well known.
There is no question that the illustrations are typical dePaola. The Fog Maiden image at the end perhaps the best part of the story. You see her moving even though there is obviously no motion to the page. This and other fun parts show how everyday items can be magical or can take on a life of their own.