cover image No Peeking at Presents

No Peeking at Presents

Alastair Heim, illus. by Sara Not. Clarion, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-328-80959-9

Christmas Eve excitement nearly gets the best of three children in this anticipatory holiday outing. An older child reminds two younger siblings of Christmas Eve’s primary rule: “There is no peeking at presents before Mommy and Daddy wake up.” But that plan goes out the window when a 3 a.m. squeaking rouses the younger kids from slumber and compels them to investigate downstairs—where the older sibling promptly corrals them back. After more squeaking and almost-peeking (at 5 a.m., 6:17 a.m., and 6:20 a.m.), the older child finally investigates the rambunctious source of the noise: a surprise that delights the entire family. Heim’s brief, sound effects–filled text captures the restless holiday morning enthusiasm familiar to many. Not’s mixed-media artwork, peppered with talk bubbles, features a spirited pajama-clad clan in a comfy home. Daddy presents as white, Mommy has brown skin, and the children are portrayed with varied skin tones. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)