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I Dare You Not to Yawn by Hélène Boudrea, illustrated by Serge Bloch

I Dare You Not to Yawn by Hélène Boudreau and illustrated by Serge Bloch really should come with a warning label. I mean, I know it should be obvious, but still, I am quite confident that any adult who attempts to read this book out loud to a child, regardless of the time of day, will find herself/himself yawning repeatedly and experience a drooping of the eyes accompanied by a strong desire for a cup of coffee or tea. Actually, I honestly just yawned while writing that sentence. 

Silly me. I Dare You Not to Yawn was at the top of the pile bedtime reading. I climbed into bed, my son in the middle, my husband on the other side reading his own book and supposedly not listening to us. By the time I finished reading the title page, we were both yawning. As we made our way through this 32 page book, we continued to yawn, especially if there was an illustration of the main character yawning. Then, we discovered that even the word "yawn" could make us yawn. We barely made it through to the end of the book. And I saw my husband yawning too. So, rather than "silly me," I think I am pretty smart! I have new weapon to add to out bedtime ritual - I Dare You Not to Yawn. If I am too tired to read through that whole stack of books my son pulled out,  I Dare You Not to Yawn is my new go-to book. The downside is, it makes me tired too, so probably not the best book to read if I need to get anything done AFTER putting my son to bed...

I Dare You Not to Yawn begins with the words, "Yawns are sneaky. They can creep up on you when you least expect them." We see a cat yawning and our hero looking at it a bit goggle-eyed. Soon, that contagious, uncontrollable yawn is causing out hero to stretch his arms and open wide. Of course, this is the cue to all good parents to start the bedtime routine which is usually me with protest. Our hero finds himself whisked into his pajamas, tucked into bed, read a story and, sitting wide-eyed in the dark wondering, "How did I get here?" The narrator counsels on the contagious nature of yawns and how to best avoid yawn-inducing situations like "stories about sleepy baby animals, like tiger cubs arching their backs in one last stretch, their eyes squished tight and their tongues curled back - rawr . . . rawr . . . rawr- or you might feel stretchy, too." Other advice includes avoidance of singing sleepy-time songs and my favorite, "WHATEVER YOU DO, don't think of droopy-eyed baby orangutans holding their long arms out for a hug form their mama . . . their little mouths forming perfect o's- oh . . . oh . . . oh!"

I think you can guess how this book ends. I have to finish this review now because I cannot stop yawning, seriously, and I am feeling really nappy. Needless to say,  I Dare You Not to Yawn is a fantastic book and I wonder why no one ever thought of this before? You know what, this would be a really good book to give to a friend with a baby, as a joke, because it would make them fall asleep while... yawn...

Source: Review Copy


Falling asleep to a bedtime book is the best promotion for it I can think of.

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