The Wee Hours

Stephanie Watson, illus. by Mary GrandPré. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4231-4038-2
Middle-grade author Watson (Elvis & Olive) addresses children directly in her debut picture book, a nighttime romp involving four imps who personify the earliest hours of the morning. A sleeping girl, dreaming about a sunny day, serves as a proxy for readers. “The clock struck one,” writes Watson. “The first Wee Hour pulled books from your shelf and read them upside down.... He grabbed the sun from your dream and bounced it high like a ball.” Subsequent Wee Hours—whose apparent ages correspond to their respective hours—release birds, horses, and dinosaurs from the girl’s dreams and make a mess of her room with mischief worthy of The Cat in the Hat’s Thing One and Thing Two. GrandPré’s (Flight of the Last Dragon) luminous pastels convey the rabble-rousers’ infectious enthusiasm and create playful chaos. Older visitors arrive as the clock strikes five, six, and seven; these newcomers help the Wee Hours settle down to sleep and set right the disheveled room, a subtle gesture toward the ways older siblings can help out with the wee ones in their lives. Ages 3–6. Author’s agent: Joy Tutela, David Black Literary Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/13/2013
Release date: 08/01/2013
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