Now that Night is Near

Astrid Lindgren; Illustrated by Marit Törnqvist; Translated by Polly Lawson

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • A lyrical bedtime story set in Sweden's midsummer landscapes
  • Written by Astrid Lindgren, the bestselling author of Pippi Longstocking
  • Stunning, dreamy artwork by award-winning illustrator Marit Törnqvist perfectly complements the soothing text

It's bedtime, and in the countryside, everyone is getting ready for sleep. But a curious cat isn't tired just yet. This peaceful bedtime story by Astrid Lindgren is brought to life with luminous artwork by award-winning illustrator Marit Törnqvist.

264 x 220 mm
Floris Books
Picture Books
Age Range:
From 3 to 7 years
24 pages
Publication date:
17 Sep 2020


"Come now little one, it's time to go to sleep.
All the little children are tucked up in bed.
Their mamas and their papas too --
Everyone should go to sleep, now that night is near."

It's bedtime, and across the land everyone is settling down to sleep. The cows are lying down in their fields, the rabbits are snug in their burrows, and the birds are resting on their branches. Except someone isn't quite ready to close their eyes just yet...

A curious cat gently wanders through midsummer fields, forests and dusky Swedish landscapes as the sun slowly sets. When will he be ready to sleep?

Written by Astrid Lindgren, the bestselling author of Pippi Longstocking, and accompanied by luminous artwork from award-winning illustrator Marit Törnqvist, this soothing story is perfect for sharing with young children at bedtime.


'A Swedish Goodnight Moon... Young readers who enjoy the soporific spell of Goodnight Moon will appreciate this invitation to sleep, translated from the Swedish. Törnqvist's hazy, mostly earth-toned illustrations appropriately reflect the muted colors of dusk, and her detailed attention to the flora and fauna of the area will give readers plenty to find, name, count, and discuss. The biracial family (the mom has brown skin, and the dad presents White) makes this an inclusive story that counters prevailing stereotypes of rural farm families.
A beautifully illustrated cat's-eye view of a quiet bedtime on a farm.'
-- Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

'This is such a sweet story, showing how night-time gently creeps into a country farm... The illustrations are wonderful. They are soft and cozy and filled with all kinds of little details. Children need to really look closely to see all the animals curled up for bed. This book is perfect for children between the ages of two and five years old. The story is simple, but there are many secrets hidden in the illustrations.'
-- Youth Services Book Review, 5 stars

'A very, very simple, and wonderfully repetitive peaceful bedtime story is brought to life with luminous artwork by Marit Tornqvist. I loved the way the little cat appears on each page.'
-- Kindling

'If your children have major FOMO when going to sleep, this would be an amazing reassuring read that everyone and everything is going to bed too (or so they'll think). I think specifically pre-schoolers would get a lot out of it. Now That Night Is Near follows a cat on a countryside stroll watching all the different animals go to bed until finally it does too. Little ones will love naming the different animals and finding the cat in each scene. [A] sweet read.'
-- Kid Lit is Lit, Instagram

'Now That Night is Near is a picture book story from the creator of Pippi Longstocking with lovely illustrations by award-winning artist Marit Tornqvist. It's a lovely, gentle bedtime story about the world going to sleep when night arrives. From cows and calves sleeping in the fields to rabbits and lambs who lay down to rest, the story reinforces the fact that all creatures need to sleep. Even cats, which are notorious for staying up at night. Delightful, inviting and unique.'
-- Midwest Book Review

'This gentle, soothing story is perfect to lull your little one to sleep!
Written by the acclaimed author of Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren, this book journeys from a child's bedroom at dusk to fields of sleeping cows and sheep, to the woodlands and forests where wild animals are burrowing in for the night. A wandering cat makes an evening excursion through every spread of the book, before it finally settles down to sleep on the child's bed as night time finally falls. The hand-painted illustrations by Marit Tornqvist are soft and stunning giving the book a tranquil and peaceful ambience! This book definitely deserves a spot in your bedtime reading rotation!'
-- The Blossoming Bibliophiles

'The illustrations are soft and peaceful, perfect for getting a little one off to sleep. There is a beautiful double page spread of a forest with birds roosting on branches, lovely to spot each little pair tucked away!
On each double page you can spot the little cat on their journey and at the end of the story the little cat returns to the child's bed and curls up to sleep. This is a comforting story, one that has the reassuring message that all is well and safe for the night.'
-- Kaleidoscope Magazine

'Now that Night is Near is a quintessential bedtime story told from the point of view of a cat who is wandering the Swedish countryside watching as all the animals settle in for the night. The hazy, earth-tone illustrations help create a sense of calm that descends while reading. Perfect for bedtime reading.'
-- My Kids Read the World


Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002) was born on a homestead in Småland, Sweden. Her most famous book, Pippi Longstocking, was published in 1945 to great success. She is also well known for Karlsson on the Roof, her books about The Bullerby Children and The Tomten. Her books are loved all over the world and have sold around 145 million copies. She won many awards, including the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award for Pippi Longstocking in 1973; the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1958; and the International Book Award from UNESCO in 1993.

Marit Törnqvist was born in 1964 in Uppsala, Sweden and divides her time between the Netherlands and Sweden. She studied illustration at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. In 2011 she was awarded a Golden Plaque from the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava, one of the most prestigious children's illustration awards. She has illustrated several of Astrid Lindgren's picture books, including A Calf for Christmas and Goran's Great Escape (Floris Books) and is also the author of many other books for children.

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