Heapy and Heap bring readers the third Very Little tale.
The tiny toddler protagonist is very excited for her birthday party tomorrow; so excited, in fact, that she can’t sleep at all. In ways that will be familiar to every parent (and that may teach readers some new tricks), she prolongs bedtime with all manner of requests, the final one being a drink in her “special-est” cup. This last stymies Daddy, who can’t find the cup. Rather than falling asleep during the long wait (as many a toddler might), she heads off to search the castle for him. Instead, she finds Aunty Fairy, an outlandishly attired woman with huge poofy pigtails and giant blue-tinted glasses, who has a gift for her. Unfortunately, Very Little Sleeping Beauty mistakes the spinning wheel for a steering wheel and, in her exuberance, breaks it. Aunt Fairy yells, the toddler cries, and Daddy puts things to right. By now, it’s almost dawn, and the girl finally goes to sleep, but she can’t be woken for her party, which is rescheduled as a pajama party that night. The watercolor-and-ink illustrations portray a white family (the party guests are diverse). The fairy-tale elements—the castle home, the spinning wheel gift—seem more than a little out of place.
Very Little Red Riding Hood (2014) was a miss, Very Little Cinderella (2015) was a score. This spin on “Sleeping Beauty” makes it a pattern: miss. (Picture book/fairy tale. 3-6)