Skip to main content

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.

Popular posts from this blog

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…