Eliopoulos (Monster Mayhem) has created a sneakily effective bedtime book focused on an interest shared by kids everywhere: valiantly resisting sleep. Two best friends, a brown-skinned narrator sporting a blue bear onesie and his guest, white-skinned Noodles, who wears a green dinosaur onesie, make a long list of sleepover plans—none of which, naturally, involves snoozing. The pair play games, jump on the trampoline, and collect fireflies, but their plan goes awry when, in the middle of a card game, Noodles frantically announces: “THE YAWNS ARE COMING!” Sure enough, hundreds of little blue, smiling creatures—the Yawns—soon swarm the friends, who “ran. And we climbed. And we sneaked. And we hid” before being caught out. The two begin to yawn, mouths wide open despite their protestations, when “SPLAP!” a glassy-eyed Doze lands on Noodles’s head. Fluttering Snores arrive just behind it, and a calming, blanketlike Sleepie wraps the bear-suited boy up warm and safe. Amid fun-filled antics in Eliopoulos’s signature style, his use of soothing cool colors plays out against ample white space, cleverly centering exaggerated yawns and bleary eyes that are all too easy to mimic, making for a surprisingly soporofic read. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
"When bedtime beckons, it will be impossible to get through this book aloud without summoning yawns—bedtime success is guaranteed." —Booklist
"Every child who has had a sleepover can relate to this silly tale, which turns the important aspiration of staying up all night into an adventure . . . Hilarious bedtime fun, ideal for sharing—provided the dozes hold off." —Kirkus
"Amid fun-filled antics in Eliopoulos’s signature style, his use of soothing cool colors plays out against ample white space, cleverly centering exaggerated yawns and bleary eyes that are all too easy to mimic, making for a surprisingly soporofic read." —Publishers Weekly
"The vibrant, dynamic art calls up Winick’s Hilo series, with playful, robust digital figures in cool-toned colors against white background, and the increasingly panicked and then sleepy expressions of the two pals match the book’s action and pace." —BCCB
"Eliopoulos ably conveys the contagiousness of a yawn—and the contagiousness of kids' enthusiasm for sleepover fun. The not-sosleepy comic-style digital illustrations and speech-bubble-heavy text add accessibility and appeal." —Horn Book
PreS-Gr 1—It's sleepover time for a young boy and his best friend, Noodles, and as with any good slumber party, their plans don't involve much sleep. The fun ends when the Yawns, physically depicted by a hoard of blue marshmallow creatures, descend. Try as they might, the pair are eventually caught. While this foe is no match for their willpower, the combined forces of Doze and company are. With adorable bedtime costumes, exaggerated expressions, and expressive fonts, this funny slumber party probably won't have readers yawning. Some may notice the hint, though, from the little lesson slipped in at the end. Eliopoulos's (Ordinary People Change the World) cute cartoons continue to grace the format. VERDICT Certain to be a favorite for many, this hilarious bedtime story will likely keep the kids up with laughter. Repeated reads may induce the desired effect.—Rachel Forbes, Oakville Public Library, Ont.
Two friends fight personified yawns, dozes, and snoozes in order to get through their to-do list at their sleepover.
A small black child has invited best friend Noodles, a taller, white child, over for a sleepover. “We were planning to stay up all / night / long.” Their list of fun things to do extends over two pages. Dressed in animal onesies, they play games, jump on the trampoline, and catch fireflies. But then, as they are playing cards, it happens. Noodles cries, “The YAWNS are coming! // RUUUUUN!” The kids dash this way and that, trying to lose the adorable, smiling, round blue creatures that pursue them. But to no avail. The yawns catch them. The kids try to resist, but then a big, oozy doze lands on Noodle’s head. And then the snores arrive, with wings. In the morning, the duo find that all is not lost: They make a new to-do list and get to it. Expressive cartoon illustrations set in simple colors against white space combine with varied typesetting to play up the urgency of the situation. Every child who has had a sleepover can relate to this silly tale, which turns the important aspiration of staying up all night into an adventure. The chase will have youngsters giggling all the way through and asking for another read.
Hilarious bedtime fun, ideal for sharing—provided the dozes hold off. (Picture book. 4-9)