William's Winter Nap

illus. by Chuck Groenink. 40p. Disney-Hyperion. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781484722824.
PreS-Gr 1—One cold winter night, a boy named William is about to fall asleep, then hears the sound of a "tap, tap, tap" outside. He scooches over to make room for a cold and tired chipmunk until a series of other abrupt noises…"knocking…booming…pinging… and crunching" are followed by a troupe of other unexpected house guests. These sleepy evening visitors range in size from a porcupine, beaver, and raccoon to a towering bear. In each instance, there is always room for one more. Ashman's lilting rhymes are ideal as a soothing bedtime story, accompanied by bold illustrations of a dark, bluish purple night dotted by white swirly snowflakes. The entreating look on each animal's face peering in at the door is irresistibly sweet, though the bear's looming presence at story's end seems almost too dark to discern. Young children will simply enjoy this as an endearing, cuddle-up story at bedtime, especially on a stormy night. An added value to the tale is its emphasis on the benefits of bestowing hospitality to those in need and a generosity of spirit towards new friends.
VERDICT A cozy winter story best saved for nighttime reading, and a good purchase for most collections.

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