Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Waking Up Is Hard to Do! Boris and the Worrisome Wakies by Helen Lester

Boris is a little badger who thinks bedtime is bad news.

Sure, lots of little ones resist calling it a day, or, in the case of nocturnal badgers, calling it a night, when badgers are wired to be awake. Sunrise is supposed to mean snooze time, but Boris is always wide awake.

Boris bombards his weary parents with all the usual timeworn kid complaints:

"I need a turkey sandwich!

My PJs are on backwards!

My cuddle bunny is hogging the bed!

I'm scared of the light!"

At sundown, Boris's sleep-deprived mom and dad practically dress him and drag him off to school, where he falls asleep and dozes for most of the, er, night. He's a zombie all through P.E. In art he's too pooped to paint, and at lunch he uses his pizza for a pillow. He even catches forty winks on the floor, where his classmates use him for a wastebasket. He curls up in his cubby for a really long catnap. By early dawn, he's all caught up on his shuteye and ready for fun, but by then school is almost over.

"What did I miss?" he asks his classmates.

His cubmates have had a ton of fun and they hit the highlights for Boris, beginning with field day, er, night.

"We all got medals!

Oh. What else?

"Birthday cupcakes.

And class picture day!

Your chance to be Line Leader!"

Boris also missed the big Thanksgiving play about the Pilgrims and the Indians.

But in a way, he was the star. The napping Boris played Plymouth Rock.

"Oh," said Boris. "Hmmm."

Boris determines that from now on there'll be some changes made, in popular author Helen Lester's just published picture book, Boris and the Worrisome Wakies (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017), with humorously illustrated winsome critters by the award-winning artist Lynn Munsinger, who skillfully uses sly sight gags and page placement, font changes, and curvy lines of type to make each page a standout. Bedtime problems can be no laughing matter for parents, but in the hands of these two expert storytellers, catching some Zs on schedule can be quite comic. This is one story not to sleep through!

Partnered with Munsinger, the award-winning Helen Lester has proven that she can make nearly-comatose critters funny, as she did in Score One for the Sloths (Laugh-Along Lessons), and together they have racked up many a classic comic tale, including Hooway for Wodney Wat. and sequels, Tacky the Penguin, and sequels, and Hurty Feelings.

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