ForeWord Reviews

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The Yawn Heard 'Round the World

Foreword Review — May / June 2003

“Her mother tucked her into bed, / but ‘I’m not sleepy,’ Sara said. / ‘I’m not through having fun today. / Let me stay up. I want to play!’” Then-she yawns. Yawns can take on a life of their own and Sara’s yawn is quite infectious.

Sara’s yawn makes her mother realize that she is tired and—she yawns. Sara’s father, working across the hall, catches it, and yawns so loud that Aunt Lucy feels it in Cuba. A bird outside Aunt Lucy’s window, startled by her yawn, swoops over to France, where it sits on the Eiffel Tower—and yawns. Below, the mayor catches the yawn, and passes it on to a lady with three poodles. It then travels to an opera singer on his way to Chad whose yawn is so loud that it bounces from a satellite to Russia, China, and the Pacific Ocean!

“That yawn surprised a big blue whale / who did what whales quite often do / and swam swam swam / all the way to Peru.” The whale’s yawn inspires a surfer, whose yawn then sweeps through the crowd at a parade as he makes his way home. Eventually, all the yawns made a long, yawny sound back to Sara’s house. Children will enjoy seeing what the yawns find there.

The author, who works for The Buffalo News, has written poetry and a screenplay as well as articles for newspapers and magazines. The illustrator, a freelancer with a BFA, has always desired to draw pictures in books. She teaches at a local community art school. This is the first children’s picture book for both of them.

The rhyming scheme throughout the story is relaxing and conducive to easy memorization. The bright watercolors are detailed and realistic and one can feel the action happening on each page. Each watercolor is a distinctive story in itself.

Children will enjoy discovering who has caught the yawn and no matter what the age, this tale can induce a yawn for all who read it.