There’s been alot of yawning this week as my schedule has amped up a little, trying to juggle more work hours, more projects, time with family, time with friends, and of course, time to read. I Dare You Not to Yawn by Canadian author Helene Boudreau is the perfect antidote to a tiring week. It’s an entertaining story all parents and kids can relate to.
The narrator is an articulate little boy who knows if he yawns he’ll have to go to bed, and it’s clear he’s had plenty of practice with stalling. He describes what happens after yawning: “Next thing you know, you’re being sent upstairs to get your pajamas on! Pajamas lead to bedtime stories. Bedtime stories lead to sleepy-time songs. And sleepy-time songs lead to good-night hugs and kisses. Before you know it, you’re tucked into bed, snug as a bug, and wondering…”How did I get here?” The full circle reasoning here is similar to Laura Numeroff’s popular “If You Give A Mouse” series.
He shares this advice:
“Stay away from huggable stuffed animals, soft cozy pajamas, and your favorite blankie…Avoid bedtime stories about sleepy baby animals like tiger cubs arching their backs in one last stretch…Don’t sing sleepy-time songs about twinkling stars or baaing sheep…And WHATEVER YOU DO, don’t think of droopy-eyed baby orangutans holding their long arms out for a hug from their mamas…their little mouths forming perfect o’s–oh…oh…oh!”
Dubbed a “cautionary fable”, this is a creative and hilarious new picture book. The lively illustrations by Serge Bloch are expressive, cartoonish and bold. The author uses language (“rawr”, “baaa”, “ohhh”) to play with the contagious nature of yawning; in an interview, she discusses the writing process and how she purposely chose words to force a yawn reflex while reading aloud. I can’t wait to feature this one in a preschool or family story time. It’s my new favorite- a story that gives us a great excuse to stay up an extra ten minutes to read, then say ‘goodnight’ with grins on our faces.