How Many Sleeps 'til My Birthday?

How Many Sleeps 'til My Birthday? illus. by Sébastien Braun. 32p. Tiger Tales. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781680100099.
PreS-Gr 1—Little Pip's anticipation of his birthday rouses Daddy Grizzle early in the morning—several days before the actual event. Each day the pair head out the door and find a busy world of friends and activities while the elder bear quietly plans for the upcoming celebration. Love is in the preparation of a present, invitations, and decorations. Each morning Little Pip wakes up anticipating his birthday, and Daddy Grizzle struggles to explain how many sleeps 'til his birthday. Text placement across spreads accentuates movement of the cub and a wide variety of woodland friends with multiple examples of font variation, dialogue, and onomatopoeia. The Grizzles' home in the woods is a brightly colored, detailed cartoon fantasy, expertly drawn and filled with Little Pip's art, books, and wooden toys near comfy beds for both occupants. Outside in the woods, the two wander across a wooden bridge past animal homes built in a log, a tree trunk, and atop a stream. Birds busily fly invitations from above, setting the stage with a surprise party for a happy little bear. As a typical wintering bear, Daddy Grizzle would simply love to sleep in on any morning, especially after a big celebration, but the final pages reveal that impatient Little Pip now has something else on his mind—"How many sleeps 'til Christmas?"
VERDICT A solid general purchase for all libraries, this is an entertaining choice for young readers with attention for detail.

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