Parents' Guide to

Twenty Yawns

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 3+

Cozy, colorful bedtime tale helps kids count.

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This bedtime book by novelist Jane Smiley, illustrated with warm-and-fuzzy coziness by picture-book pro Lauren Castillo, has a simple, time-tested story. At bedtime, everything looks spooky in the moonlight, so Lucy can't fall asleep, but she's able to do so when she snuggles with her stuffed animals. Illustrator Castillo gives readers lots to enjoy visually, wordlessly picturing a multiracial family not referenced in the text, painting the girl and family with warmth and appeal, and having fun with the details -- for instance, the pictures of family members mentioned in the text aren't photos but kid-drawn pictures taped up on the wall, as a family might do in a temporary beach rental.

This is also a counting book, with the 20 yawns in the title sprinkled throughout. Because each yawn is accompanied by the word in color and different type, they're easy to find, and if 20 objects is too many for the target preschool-age readers to count (and not just rattle off by rote), parents and kids can simply try to hunt for them.

Book Details

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