A rambunctious hamster tests its sleepy dad’s patience.
Beginning with frontmatter pages, cartoon-style drawings with digital coloring use speech balloons to deliver the text, which is completely written in dialogue. Sleeping Dad is rudely awakened by his rambunctious child, while another parent sleeps soundly, somehow blocking out the hyperactive barrage of chatter, to which Dad responds with monosyllabic utterances. Although he remains in bed for the entire book, the exclamation, “I even made pancakes!” gets Dad’s attention: “What?” he asks. “Or tried to…” responds the child. This sets up ensuing wordless depictions of a disastrous scene in the kitchen, its door wide open to the outside. All the spilled milk and such ultimately attracts a group of cats reminiscent of Wanda Gág’s millions. But before they descend, Dad, still in bed and listening to the incessant babble, has a bright idea: “Hey, can you do a Dad impression?” he asks, and the child immediately calms down and starts yawning and complaining of exhaustion. As the sun rises, child and father fall asleep, but a concluding wordless spread shows the family dog in hot pursuit of the cats as they race up the stairs toward the sleeping hamsters. Expert pacing distinguishes this picture book, which will provoke laughter from children and perhaps rueful recognition of pre-dawn rising from adults.
Sure to gather fans in its wake. (Picture book. 3-6)