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Waking Up Wendell
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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This fun and friendly book illustrates a neighborhood waking up. Each household wakes the next with the kind of domino effect that fascinates kids. While it's a rare person (or pig) who's at their best first thing in the morning, these characters are appealing in their grumbling, reluctant grogginess. Parents should be prepared to add some sound effects -- Mr. Krudwig wakes up to bird song, Leopold starts to bark, and Mrs. Musky's tea kettle whistles awake her neighbors. The neighborhood wakes up in order of their house numbers -- from #1 Fish Street to little Wendell Willamore who gives the book its title at Fish Street #10 -- making this a counting book as well as a story book. Kids can trace the book back to the start, too, since outside Wendell's window peeks the little bird who sang the street awake.
Tad Hills' colorful pictures painted with broad strokes complement the bright morning tone of the book. And the funny details throughout make this even more fun to read aloud. (The Darjeeling family with five kids tucked into their king-size bed have a book on the side table titled Whose Bed Is It Anyway? Many parents can relate!)