I DARE YOU NOT TO YAWN

Just the ticket for nap-time or bedtime sharing.

Those sneaky, sneaky yawns—just one and it’s lights out for you.

In this clever, appealing offering, Boudreau describes what happens when a yawn hits: “your arms stretch up, your eyes squish tight, your mouth opens wide, your tongue curls back, and—mmm…rrr…yarwwrrrrr—a yawn pops out.” Moms never fail to spot them, and soon enough, it’s time for pajamas, goodnight books, lullabies, and tucking into bed with hugs and kisses. If one doesn’t wish to fall prey to these consequences, then the following rules should be observed: Don’t, for any reason, look at anyone else who is yawning, and avoid, at all costs, stuffed animals, pajamas, cozy blankies, books about sleepy baby animals, songs about sheep-counting and images of sleepy baby orangutans. The funny, melodramatic prose is cleverly extended by Bloch’s cartoonlike illustrations that emphasize the emotions of the little boy who is desperately trying not to yawn. He looks absolutely distraught when put to bed, hilariously focused and determined as he runs away from snuggly, yawn-inducing items, and finally, happily asleep on the final page. The boy’s cat appears in many of the illustrations, mimicking his behaviors and emotions to great comic effect.

Just the ticket for nap-time or bedtime sharing. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 12, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5070-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

THE CRAYONS' CHRISTMAS

From the Creative Creature Catcher series

Haphazard but jolly enough for one outing; it probably won’t last for more.

A flurry of mail addressed to Duncan’s crayons ushers in the Christmas season in this novelty spinoff of the bestselling The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) and The Day the Crayons Came Home (2015).

Actual cards and letters are tucked into envelopelike pouches pasted to the pages; these are joined in some cases by other ephemera for a package that is likely to invite sudden, intense play followed by loss and/or damage that will render the book a disappointment to reread. That’s probably OK, as in contrast to the clever story that kicked this small series off, this outing has a hastily composed feel that lacks cohesion. The first letter is addressed to Peach from Mom and includes a paper doll of the “naked” (de-wrappered) crayon along with a selection of tabbed changes of clothing that includes a top hat and tails and a bikini top and bottom. Peach’s implied gender fluidity does not mitigate the unfortunate association of peach with skin color established in the first book. The sense of narrative improvisation is cemented with an early page turn that takes the crayons from outdoors snow play to “Feeling…suddenly very Christmas-y, the crayons headed inside.” Readers can unpack a box of punch-out decorations; a recipe for gluten-free Christmas cookies that begins “go to store and buy gluten-free cookies”; a punch-out dreidel (turns out Grey is Jewish); a board game (“six-sided die” not included); and a map of Esteban (aka Pea Green) and Neon Red’s travels with Santa.

Haphazard but jolly enough for one outing; it probably won’t last for more. (Novelty. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-51574-6

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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