BIG DREAMS, SMALL FISH Written and illustrated by Paula Cohen (Levine Querido; $17.99, Ages…
I Dare You Not to Enjoy This Book!
Yawns are contagious as is the new book I Dare You Not to Yawn ($15.99, Candlewick Press, ages 4 and up) by the winning combination of author Hélène Boudreau and illustrator Serge Bloch. I happen to adore Boudreau’s inner-child channeled sense of humor and Debbie Glade is a huge Serge Bloch fan. So what’s not to love?
“Yawns are sneaky.
They can creep up on you when you least expect them.”
It’s true. Watch out, kids! DO NOT YAWN!
This cleverly conceived cautionary tale is a bit conspiratorial, too. The author/narrator is speaking directly to children to teach them the signs of an approaching yawn and how to keep said yawn from … yawwrrr – popping out. Why does this matter you might ask? Because, along with eye rubbing, the yawn is a major indicator that someone (and that someone is you, kiddo) is getting sleepy. And the only place that gets you is the dreaded Put To Bed.
Bloch’s bold colors and whimsical characters delight the eye. Yawns have never looked this funny. “And WHATEVER YOU DO,” warns Boudreau, “don’t think of droopy-eyed baby orangutans holding their long arms out for a hug from their mamas …” No that simply won’t do. Practice all the suggested skills needed to shove that yawn right back where it came from and then, only then, will you be the master of your bedtime. But if you cannot keep that stubborn yawn from escaping, it just might be your body playing one last round of dare before you drift off to dreamland.
-Reviewed by Ronna Mandel