During the South American jungle’s hot afternoon, the jaguar decides to celebrate a welcome breeze with a nap and instructs a coati to wake him in 10 minutes.
Scared of the jaguar, the coati agrees but, wanting a short snooze himself, enlists a cockatiel to wake him in time to rouse the jaguar. The story builds as the cockatiel, wishing to take part in the midafternoon siesta, brings a sloth into the plan. Alas, the sloth, who can barely stay awake, cannot find anyone to wake her and must keep her eyes open minute by minute. “This was such torture for the poor sloth! / But she had given her word to the cockatiel, / who had promised the coati, / who had promised the jaguar, (who, no one was particularly thrilled to see angry).” Of course, sloth finally dozes off with a snore so loud that it wakes everyone just in time. The story’s repetition creates anticipation for the thunderous surprise ending, which sees the startled animals running away while sloth continues her sonorous slumber. The amusing undertone of the story is enhanced with collage-style artwork resembling large construction-paper cutouts in muted colors. Each animal is native to the region and is depicted with convincingly droopy eyelids. Translated from the original Spanish, this should become a new favorite for multiple readings; kids will enjoy reciting the final countdown of minutes and that explosive, page-filling snore.
Snoring usually isn’t this much fun. (Picture book. 3-5)