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by Zachariah OHora & illustrated by Zachariah OHora

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: April 12th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9002-4
Publisher: Henry Holt

Bernard has a problem: His persistent snoring keeps the other otters awake. When Grumpy Giles sends him packing, Bernard tries napping in the zoo’s lake (with its croc denizens, who, fortunately, seem to be more interested in peace and quiet than in a nice otter snack), a fountain (where he annoys giraffes) and a puddle dominated by perturbed elephants. He manages a bit of shut-eye in a bat cave, but when the creatures throng back to roost after a night of hunting, Bernard trudges off once more, tearfully heading for the zoo exit. Illustrator OHora’s debut features muscular acrylic-on-paper pictures in a palette of red, teal, brown, black and ochre. Wide black outlines and OHora’s own display type add graphic pizzazz to spreads featuring charmingly depicted animals. The story of family acceptance is simple: The otters miss Bernard, search for him all night and welcome him back into the clan. As a story, it's a little thin, but the illustrations carry the day. The strong visuals and patterned text, with “Stop Snoring, Bernard!” a thrice-repeated refrain, add up to an inviting, pleasant read-aloud—irascible giraffe notwithstanding—for one-on-one or group sharing. An artist to watch. (Picture book. 3-6)