cover image Wake Up, Vladimir

Wake Up, Vladimir

Felicia Bond / Author Crowell $12.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-690-0445

Bond's latest is a disjointed and ultimately disappointing picture book that promises an adventure it doesn't delivers. Vladimir, a young groundhog living with his family in the hills, runs away to avoid the annual hibernation. The first thing he does, however, is curl up in a new hole and fall into a deep sleep. Emerging at winter's end, he is startled by his shadow, lets out a shout and believes he has thus scared the ""monster'' away. (In fact, a cloud has conveniently covered the sun, although young children may not make this connection.) Vladimir hurries home and never runs away again. What could have been a rich starting point fizzles: one wishes that Vladimir's quest for independence had led to something a trifle more spirited than a good snooze, and that his adventures had exceeded an unexceptional dream and a short-lived scare over his shadow. The text is flat and the art cartoony; the two often work against rather than complement one another and give off only a trace of the warmth and affection Bond's fans have enjoyed in previous books. Ages 4-8. (September)