I’m Awake!

Maxwell Eaton III. Knopf, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-375-84575-8
With the moon still hanging in the night sky, a wide-eyed hamster pounces on his sleeping father, proudly shrieking the title’s message. Eaton (Two Dumb Ducks) captures their punchy back-and-forth in speech balloons, with the groggy father becoming alert in a hurry after learning that his little one has “been up for a while” and even made pancakes (“Or tried to...”). “We’re out of paper towels,” adds the small hamster, and a page turn shows the fallout from the pancake-making fiasco, with flour pouring onto the floor, a sudsy sink overflowing, and other disasters in the making, such as a stand mixer resting on a barstool perched on the counter. Eaton’s digitally colored pen-and-ink drawings have as much energy as his young hero, and the divide between the protagonist’s innocence and the chaos he leaves in his wake creates comedy that kids and adults can appreciate equally, if separately. While everyone is sleeping at book’s end (humorously, the hamster’s mother has slept through the entire exchange), the mischievous ending suggests that this is only a brief respite. Ages 5–8. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/20/2017
Release date: 05/02/2017
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-375-94575-5
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