Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley, illustrated by Lauren Castillo

Generally, when adult, young adult, or even middle grade authors move down to write picture books I...reserve judgment. It rarely ends well. But Jane Smiley hits all the right notes in her picture book debut and, paired with Lauren Castillo, one of my favorite illustrators, they have created a classic bedtime story.

Lucy, a sweetly plump biracial preschooler spends a wonderful day at the beach with her parents, playing in the sand and water. When they all begin yawning, it's time for bed! A glowing sunset illuminates the sky as Lucy prepares for bed and soon her mother is asleep...but Lucy is still wide awake! She gets up to go find her bear, Molasses, and tiptoes through the sleeping house. Eventually she finds all her stuffed friends and, with a yawn each, they head to bed. One by one, everyone, including the family in her pictures, gives one last yawn....and then Lucy falls asleep.

Careful counting will discover 20 yawns in the story and you're sure to find yourself yawning by the end, but it's the peaceful, gentle rhythms of a happy day at the beach, the routines of bedtime, and the final trek through the quiet house that really send you off to dreamland. Lauren Castillo's lovely art truly shines in this comforting family tale from the blazing sunset to Lucy's exuberant curls and softly blushing cheeks. I especially love the moonlight stretching across the house at night - it's mysterious but not at all frightening.

Verdict: This is a lovely, dreamy book that's perfect for a bedtime storytime, before bedtime read, or calming night fears. Cuddle up with your favorite bear and a cuddly baby and enjoy. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781477826355; Published 2016 by Two Lions; Review copy provided by the publisher; Donated to the library.

No comments: