“Yawns are sneaky,” begins I Dare You Not to Yawn, an unusual bedtime story. But what’s probably even sneakier is a book written in a conspiratorial tone that ostensibly seeks to help kids delay their bedtime by listing the different ways in which they can combat that tell-tale sign of sleepiness, yawning, when it is actually doing its utmost to make them feel sleepy.
As the authors know full well, yawns are nothing if not contagious. Thus, a book about yawning — or how not to yawn — is pretty ingenious since the thought of it is already firmly planted in the mind of the reader from the very start (not to mention, the numerous times that the word ‘yawn’ actually appears in the text).
The comical illustrations that show the protagonist struggling not to yawn and attempting to avoid all the snuggly, cozy things associated with bedtime — pajamas, bedtime stories, hugs, kisses, stuffed toys, etc. — also naturally have the opposite effect on the reader by making sleep seem like an awfully attractive proposition…
(For the record, we did yawn several times while reading this book, heh.)