The Very Long Sleep

illus. by Polly Noakes. 32p. Child's Play. Apr. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781786281272.
PreS-Gr 1—Good friends Fox, Chipmunk, Marmot, and Bear decide to build a home together in the forest. They love spending time together and all is cheery, except that Marmot, Chipmunk, and Bear forgot to mention that they like to sleep in the winter. A lot. Fox tries to wake his slumbering friends and cooks an abundance of food each night in case they wake up. But of course, his three friends continue to snooze. The arrival of three mysterious packages, delivered by a pigeon, and Fox's curiosity bring about a joyful surprise ending. Noakes's illustrations evoke the textures one would find on bark, leaves, moss, and other items found in the woods. The use of crisp white backgrounds on most pages allows the animals, particularly the auburn red Fox, to really pop off of the page. The story ends with Fox advertising for a new housemate to join the group of friends—one who does not hibernate.
VERDICT Expressive, friendly forest animals are always a welcome addition to a storytime. The basic introduction to hibernation also makes this a STEAM crossover title for programming success.

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