Too Early

Pictures by Elly MacKay
Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers

I wake up very early.
Good morning, Sun, on your way at last.
You don’t wake up nearly as early as I do.
Now the wind is waking.
Tickle tickle on my cheeks,
rustle rustle through the leaves.
Birds untuck and start to coo,
Whooo whooo, you wake up too early, yes you doooo . . .

A gentle, cozy story following a family’s bleary-eyed wake-up routine, a little one who’s eager to start the day, and the quiet magic of early mornings.  

In sweet, melodic verse written from the perspective of the earliest riser, Too Early follows a family’s morning routine, exploring both the groggy and the everyday haze magic inherent in the predawn hours of a loving household.


Too Early is here! This story is particularly special to me as it was inspired by my very own early riser (I’m looking at you, Ry!) Illustrated by the amazing Elly MacKay, it’s beautiful from front to back! Check out a few of these gorgeous interior spreads:

Too Early is an Amazon Editors’ Pick and was an Amazon November Favorite.

Too Early has also has received many wonderful honors including being named an ALA Notable, a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year and the 2023 Margaret Wise Brown Prize Honor Book – a prize given specifically for a picture book text.

Too Early has been named a 2024 Oregon Book Award Finalist!!

Available through ABRAMS, IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop,  and more!


Praise for Too Early

“Cozy, sumptuous, and stirring—the perfect way to greet the dawn.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Images of the closely cuddled duo make it clear that though the father grumbles (‘You sure do wake up early’), sunrise and a shooting star—and fleeting one-on-one time—represent a gift in the ordinary moments before a day’s ‘rush rush.'” —Publishers Weekly

“The wonderful and familiar details, such as the hallway night light, the half-dozing/half-awake shuffle of the father before the coffee kicks in, and the doggies doing their morning upward and downward stretches, bring the morning to life.” —School Library Journal
“Ericson’s short sentences and soft onomatopoetic flourishes (shhhh, sip, rustle, whooo whooo) bring a soothing rhythm to this story.” —The Horn Book

“The illustrations are uniquely dreamy,  arranged and photographed diorama-style and lit with real light. Early morning blotchy blues pervade the initial pages, giving way to beautiful, real morning glows in pink and yellow. Onomatopoeia is utilized well in the text, mimicking all the noises that come with a typical morning routine, and the overall effect is serene and cozy, perfectly capturing the magical essence of this liminal time of the day. Fellow early risers may be inspired to sit out on the porch with a warm mug of milk. ”  —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books


“Ericson’s simple sentences, loose rhyme and playful repetitions pulse with the whiffs and whispers of that part of morning most of us miss. And MacKay’s sherbety paintings are the pitch-perfect, predawn partner for this paean to quality quiet time with someone you love.”—Rowboat Watkins for The New York Times Book Review

TOO EARLY is a CBC Best Children’s Book of the Year (and an extra star for  “Outstanding Merit”)!

TOO EARLY is the 2023 Margaret Wise Brown Prize Honor Book, given specifically for a picture book text!!

TOO EARLY is an ALA Notable Book!

TOO EARLY is a 2024 Oregon Book Award Finalist!