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Monday, May 16, 2016

Twenty Yawns, written by Jane Smiley and illustrated by Lauren Castillo. two lions, Thomas Allen & Son, 2016. $23.99 ages 3 and up

"The moon shone through the window, a silver veil that fell across the floor. Everything looked mysterious, even Lucy's own hands on the bedspread. Suddenly, Lucy was wide awake. She looked around. Everyone in the pictures seemed to be watching her - ..."

It's been a eventful day for Lucy. She spent it at the beach with her parents, and they have all arrived home yawning and longing for an early start to a long and restful sleep.

As the sun sets and night settles in, Lucy and her mom watch from Lucy's bedroom window. YAWN. Story time begins with promise. Soon Mom is yawning and very quickly after that sound asleep. Poor Lucy. The moonlight is keeping her awake.

A quiet check in the living room finds her dad sleeping in his chair. Lucy needs Molasses for company. Retrieving her bear knocks each of her other toys to the floor. Are they lonely without Molasses and Lucy? Better safe than sorry I would think - Lucy gathers each in her arms and finds them a place on her bed. Finally, all is as it should be and Lucy can succumb to sleep, as her parents have done before her.

In simple language, Ms. Smiley tells the story of a day in the life of many young children. It is a day full of activity, a night not always completely quiet and relaxing while also being filled with wonder, and the love of favorite toys. It is a warm and thoughtful bedtime read., and there's counting.

Lauren Castillo chose to do her amazing illustrations digitally with painted textures, capturing the light and warmth of a summer day, and the quiet bliss of a moonlit night. I love the changing perspectives, the use of spot pictures to portray action, and the variety in mood that the chosen colors provide. There are, indeed, twenty yawns. Take the time to count them with your little one as you share this bedtime delight.                                                                      

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