If LeUyen Pham’s name is attached to a book, I will read it. And I just learned that Levis also authored Ida, Always (which is so necessary! Love).
Atheneum, 2018. Hardcover Picture book, 48pp.
You will be challenged to not yawn more than three times yourself during the reading/listening of this picture book—even while Gabby Wild does her best to stop that yawn. Levis is clever in her inclusion of Gabby’s continual cry: “Grit your teeth, seal your lips, we have to stop that…yawn!” A repeating refrain is always tempting for the young listen to participate in—which of course means, they have to say “yawn”…and maybe actually yawn themselves.
Gabby is bored with the idea of bedtime, and Granny is willing to accommodate her flight to Sleeptown to at first enjoy an evening out; and then to halt that one thing that is sure to mean zzzz’s: a yawn. Once one starts, she has to chase it down. Good thing Granny has her running shoes. A jazzy rhyme, energetic illustrations and quick movements around and through vignettes are sure to keep the reader wide-awake and entertained, even if many of the characters find themselves yawning and slumping over. But maybe, too, all this energy, this desperate sleep-avoidance will wear Gabby and reader out.
The adventure inspires Gabby’s dreams, signaling to the listener that if they too snuggle in and sleep, they can return to Sleeptown-inspired adventures: maybe to the hear the hippopotamus diva at the All-Nite Opera, or visit the giraffe at the All-Nite Pickle Palace?
Recommended for those looking for a playful, interactive bedtime read; for books involving Grandmothers, or protagonists of color. Stop that Yawn! would keep good company with Barnett’s Noisy Night and/or the quieter bedtime lullaby that is Emily Martin’s Dream Animals.