Thursday, April 18, 2019

Dear Spring, Come In! William Wakes Up by Linda Ashman

When William wakes, he feels a change in the air and hears a distant but welcome song.

"It's been a long and wintry wait--
We need a cake to celebrate!"

William turns to his bedfellows--a motley assortments of snoozing animals--but only Chipmunk makes it up to join him.

But cake baking is a big job, and soon little chipmunk crashes! There's way too much for two to do!

The two return to the bedroom and proclaim that spring has arrived, and Porcupine ceases to snore and offers to sweep the floor. But he, too, soon tires of his task....

William returns to recruit some help from the others, still lost in slumber.
"Today's the day--
A special guest is on the way!"

Groundhog gets up and hustles out to help, but before long, he's too tired to tidy up, too. William heads back to the bed, where only Bear and Raccoon are still dozing. Bear rouses himself, not to late to help decorate the cake!

The house is spiffy, the cake is nifty, and everyone is ready to welcome their long-awaited guest. At last Raccoon rouses himself and rolls out.
"Did I hear 'cake?'
Don't start without me--
"I'm AWAKE!"

Will Raccoon get cake? Will he make up for sleeping on the job? There's a lot to do before the bluebird of spring appears, in Linda Ashman's just published William Wakes Up (Disney Hyperion, 2019). And there's a slice of cake and work aplenty waiting for Raccoon (perhaps beginning with the washing up?) in Ashman's charming salute to spring. With her engaging rhyming narration, Ashman's page turns build tension as one by one, each character makes his appearance until the mystery guest finally flies in for the picnic, while artist Chuck Groenick's wide-eyed and willing William, his cozy cottage, and his animal friends are perfectly crafted characters for this upbeat and heart-warming seasonal story.

Linda Ashmon's and Chuck Groenick's companion book is William's Winter Nap.

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