A Youngster Yawns: A Review of Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley, illustrated by Lauren Castillo

A yawn. Nothing more than opening one’s mouth wide, and inhaling deeply. A usual occurrence when someone is tired or lacking sleep.

There’s also a phenomenon that seeing someone yawn or hearing about yawns can trigger a yawn. Science (from what I know) has no answer for why this happens.

But, we do know what causes Lucy to yawn in the upcoming title from Jane Smiley, illustrated by Lauren Castillo, Twenty Yawns. (Published by Two Lions).

What’s more exciting for a child than a day at the beach? There’s the digging. And the building. And the playing in the water. There’s the walking. And exploring. And tumbling and rolling. Not to mention, all of this while being under the rays of the hot summer sun.

So, it’s only natural to feel tired, and let out a little yawn at the end of a beach day. Evening has come. It’s time to clean up and cozy up. It’s almost time for bed.

And Castillo so beautifully paints us a beautiful summer sunset. One so beautiful, we can only dream about, and count ourselves as lucky to actually witness such a sunset in person.

The sun sets and it is dark, and it is time for bed. While mom begins to read Lucy a story, mom’s eyes grow heavy. The yawns catch up with her, and soon she is off in dreamland. Lucy soon joins her, but awakes to the uncomfortable silence and glare of the moonlight in the window. Off she goes in search of her bear. She decides it’s not only necessary to bring the bear to bed, but the whole host of stuffed animals that occupy her shelves. As they all snuggle in for the night, Lucy finds a sense of contentment.

Some people toss and turn and can’t fall asleep at night. As days get busy, worries multiply, and stresses abound, it’s hard to find that sense of contentment at night when your head hits the pillow.

But Lucy finds that sense. She is comfortable, She is thankful. And so that ultimate sense of peace so many of us long for overwhelms Lucy, and she so contentedly lets out that final yawn, and falls into deep slumber.

Is there a better feeling than to be snuggled in with your head on a soft pillow, knowing how much you have to be thankful for, and how much your friends and family love you?

The story told here is not a typical bedtime story; it’s a story which so delicately combines  just the right tones of color in the illustrations, coupled with the delicate language from Jane Smiley.

Add this book to your collection, celebrate the sweetness of slumber, yawn, and fall fast asleep.

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