Vincent Can’t Sleep: Van Gogh Paints the Night Sky

About the Author

Barb Rosenstock is the author of the Caldecott Honor Book The Noisy Paint Box, also illustrated by Mary GrandPré, as well as The Camping Trip That Changed America, illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein, and Fearless: The Story of Racing Legend Louise Smith, illustrated by Scott Dawson. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, sons, and two big poodles.

Vincent Can’t Sleep: Van Gogh Paints the Night Sky

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Barb Rosenstock with illustrations by Mary GrandPré

A gorgeous, lyrical picture-book biography of Vincent van Gogh by the Caldecott Honor team behind The Noisy Paint Box.


Vincent can’t sleep . . .

out, out, out he runs!

Flying through the garden—marigold, geranium, blackberry, raspberry—

past the church with its tall steeple, down rolling hills and sandy paths meant for sheep,

He dives at last into the velvety, violet heath, snuggles under a blanket of sapphire sky,

and looks up, up, up . . . to visit with the stars.


Vincent van Gogh often found himself unable to sleep and wandered under starlit skies. Those nighttime experiences provided the inspiration for many of his paintings, including his most famous, The Starry Night. Van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime—but he continued to pursue his unique vision, and ultimately became one of the most beloved artists of all time.


Vincent Can’t Sleep is a stunning book that offers insight into the true meaning of creativity and commitment.

  • Hardcover
  • 8.5 x 11 inches
  • 40 pages
  • Published: 2017
  • Recommended for ages 4–8


Caldecott Honor Book

Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

Booklist Top 10 Art Books for Youth


Editorial Reviews

“Rosenstock’s prose strikes a balance between lightheartedness and lyricism. GrandPré’s paintings conjure up an entire epoch . . . breathing life into all the characters.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The rich word choice is a delight: pistachio, cobalt, and saffron introduce readers to colors while hissing, blaring, and whispering reveal the sounds of the colors. . . . This is a beautiful blend of colors, music, and life.” —Booklist, starred review
“A rich, accomplished piece about a pioneer in the art world.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“The book offers diverse potential for different types of study, whether one is reading for information or for pleasure. Outstanding.” —School Library Journal, starred review

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