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WAKING UP WENDELL by April Stevens Kirkus Star


by April Stevens & illustrated by Tad Hills

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-83621-3
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

The pigs along Fish Street are all sleeping when: At #1, a little bird sings her song, “Tweeet-Tweeet-Ta-Ta-Ta-Tweeeeet,” waking up Mr. Krudwig at #2, who’s been dreaming of pancakes and gets up grumpily to let out his dog, Leopold. Happy to be out in the sun, Leopold barks, waking Mrs. Musky at #3. Her tea kettle wakes Mrs. Depolo at #4, who’s late for school and screeches off in her convertible. The noises, neighbor to neighbor, continue until little Wendell Willamore in #10 wakes in his crib under a mobile of his own birds. Here, in text and pictures, is a neighborhood, neighbors and friends following their routines to the sounds of “Rappity-rappity-rap” (the dog) and “Wack-slam! Wack-slam!” (the cat), through “Wigata-wigata-wigata” (a sewing machine) and finally to “Weeeeeee!” as Wendell awakes in the sunshine. Stevens’s text often reads like poetry as she describes her characters and their mornings, each bound to be familiar in a new way to readers. There is much more to explore in Hills’ pictures, little stories being played out from endpapers to endpapers as the shifts in light and activity signal the day’s beginnings. As absolutely charming as a sunny morning can be. (Picture book. 3-7)