cover image Don’t Blink!

Don’t Blink!

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illus. by David Roberts. Random House, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-385-39187-0

Bedtime-delayers are offered a simple deal in this clever interactive book by the late Rosenthal: “If you can avoid getting to the end of this book, you can avoid bedtime.” The catch is that with every blink, a page must be turned. Seeing that the reader needs some assistance to keep from blinking, a no-nonsense owl helpfully suggests a series of strategies for keeping one’s eyes open. Staring intensely is recommended; optical illusions are offered. But when readers are prompted to get all their blinks out in one super fast attempt, the result is a 23-page leap that brings readers dangerously close to the end, compelling Owl to propose the last possible alternative: leave both eyes closed. Roberts’s illustrations are spare but effective, with Owl’s big personality and expressive fonts (the word “blurry” actually looks blurry) commanding attention on each page. Set against a white backdrop, Owl starts out wide-eyed, with fatigue’s progression marked by pages that gradually darken and eyelids that eventually droop. With her signature wit, humor, and creativity, Rosenthal slyly encourages even the most stubborn of bedtime avoiders to drift off to sleep. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Christine Isteed, Artists Partners. (Apr.)