written by Helene Boudreauillustrated by Serge Bloch
published by Candlewick, 2013
From the Publisher:
A yawn can land you in your pj’s and under the covers before you can blink and say "Baa baa black sheep." So clamp your mouth shut and look away from your sleepy dog, stay away from your cuddly blanket, and whatever you do, don’t think of baby orangutans stretching their long arms out for a snuggly hug. Otherwise, you might find your mouth opening wide and letting out a great big yawny yaaaaaawn -- hey, you were supposed hold it in! A hilarious read-aloud that is so much fun, kids will beg for it again and again, whatever the consequences.
Just try to resist this comical -- and infectious -- cautionary fable that will have even bedtime-avoiders gladly snuggling up for a nightly challenge.
My Thoughts as a Writer:This is perfect to read at bedtime. The comic-style illustrations in this story are a lot of fun. I enjoyed how the writer took a simple idea and drew it out into a story full of tips for how not to yawn. The carefully-chosen sounds words add to the enjoyment of the story.
This book would be a good one for studying pacing and page turns. For more information on Helene Boudreau’s process for writing this book, check out this interview with Debbie Ridpath Ohi -- Picture Book Writing Process: How Hélène Boudreau Wrote I DARE YOU NOT TO YAWN (Candlewick Press).
My Thoughts as a Teacher:This book would be a nice one to read to preschoolers or kindergarten students to promote a love of reading. It gives you that wonderful cozy feeling of a shared experience. I can also imagine reading this to my class during an inquiry on the human body...or to spark an inquiry, since it so easily lends itself to questions about why we need to sleep or why we yawn.
This book is one of the nominees for The Blue Spruce Award in the Canadian Library Association's Forest of Reading 2014.
If you're looking for more good picture books to read or to use in your classroom, check out Susanna Leonard Hill’s wonderful list of resources, Perfect Picture Books as well as her blog feature Perfect Picture Book Fridays.