A fun twist of a familiar phrase and a delightful new bedtime tale.

FORTY WINKS

A BEDTIME ADVENTURE

You thought your family’s bedtime rituals were complicated! Meet Mama and Papa Wink—and their 38 young mouselings.

The elder Winks share parental duties. First, they rustle up a bedtime snack. “Some sipped and some slurped, / some gobbled and burped, / while others said ‘thank you’ and ‘please.’ ” Bathtime and “snug-fuzzy flannels and caps” come next, then “every small Wink scamper[s] off to the sink, / brushing and flossing in pairs.” The text relates that “they were each read a book (what a long time that took!).” It takes so long that Mama reads “ ’til she snooze[s] a wee snore.” After prayers, “some curled with blankies / (a few had the crankies), / but each babe was tucked in just right.” Until…Moe squeaks for a drink, and then, of course, all 38 need one last cup of water. Finally, in a series of illustrations of adorable, snuggling mice abed, the 40 Winks sleep, and sleep, and sleep until “It’s time to start over again!” With the soothing rhythm of an old-time nursery rhyme, alliteration, and end and internal rhymes, this makes for a fun read-aloud. Detailed illustrations capture the energy of this busy family, and clothing choices, postures, and expressive faces make each of the 40 Winks distinctive—so much so that, on the last spread, the challenge to name each unlabeled Wink is achievable. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A fun twist of a familiar phrase and a delightful new bedtime tale. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4552-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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Willems’ formula is still a winner.

THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH!

From the Pigeon series

The pigeon is back, and he is filthy!

Readers haven’t seen the pigeon for a couple of years, not since The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? (2012), and apparently he hasn’t bathed in all that time. Per the usual routine, the bus driver (clad in shower cap and bathrobe) opens the story by asking readers to help convince the pigeon to take a bath. Though he’s covered in grime, the obstreperous bird predictably resists. He glares at readers and suggests that maybe they need baths. With the turn of the page, Willems anticipates readers’ energetic denials: The pigeon demands, “YEAH! When was the last time YOU had a bath?!” Another beat allows children to supply the answer. “Oh.” A trio of flies that find him repulsive (“P.U.!”) convinces him it’s time. One spread with 29 separate panels depicts the pigeon adjusting the bath (“Too wet!…Too cold.…Too reflective”) before the page turn reveals him jumping in with a spread-filling “SPLASH!” Readers accustomed to the pigeon formula will note that here the story breaks from its normal rhythms; instead of throwing a tantrum, the pigeon discovers what readers already know: “This is FUN!” All the elements are in place, including page backgrounds that modulate from dirty browns to fresh, clean colors and endpapers that bookend the story (including a very funny turnabout for the duckling, here a rubber bath toy).

Willems’ formula is still a winner. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9087-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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A cozy read for bibliophiles.

SNOWMAN'S STORY

With echoes of “Frosty the Snowman” in the background, a snowman’s storybook within this wordless book delivers a comic wintertime romp.

Woodland creatures build a snowman, giving him a green book as a finishing touch. This addition comes right after a windswept top hat lands on his head, vivifying him à la Frosty. Hidden inside is a rabbit (it is a magic hat, after all); attentive readers will have seen the hat first on frontmatter pages and then with the bunny in the double-page spreads before the early ones devoted to the snowman’s construction. The snowman reads his book aloud to the animals, with the rabbit surreptitiously listening in, its ears poking out of the top of the hat. When the others all drift off to sleep, the bunny emerges and steals away with the book. A chase ensues across snowy terrain and through a series of pages (perhaps a few too many for good pacing) replete with comic-style panels. When the animals and snowman confront the rabbit in its tree-hollow home, its motivation for book thievery is revealed: This bunny has a family and wishes to share the story with its children. All’s well that ends well, and the animals convene (safely outside and away from the rabbit family’s crackling fireplace) to read together.

A cozy read for bibliophiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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