Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review!: Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley and Lauren Castillo


Twenty Yawns

Twenty Yawns
Author: Jane Smiley; Illustrator: Lauren Castillo
Published April 1, 2016 by Two Lions

Goodreads Summary: Featuring lyrical text and beautiful illustrations, this bedtime tale from Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley and Caldecott Honor recipient Lauren Castillo evokes the splashy fun of the beach and the quietude of a moonlit night, with twenty yawns sprinkled in for children to discover and count.

As her mom reads a bedtime story, Lucy drifts off. But later, she awakens in a dark, still room, and everything looks mysterious. How will she ever get back to sleep?

Ricki’s Review: My son asks me to read this book every single night. (I’m not kidding. Imagine his sweet voice asking, “Twenty Yawns, please, Mama?”) My favorite part about this book is that there are many interactive sections that we can read together. He can’t read yet, but he is slowly learning sight words and loves reading the “Flap! Flap! Flap! Flap!” of the umbrella and each of the twenty “yawns.” He also tells me what Lucy is doing on each page. There are a lot of bedtime books out there, but this book truly makes me sleepy. I’m getting sleepy as I think about it right now! My son and I both yawn as we see each character yawn. Parents, READ: This book will make your child(ren) tired! I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the illustrations are breathtaking. The drawings of Lucy’s stuffed animals capture my attention every time I read this book. I feel lucky to have this book in my bedtime arsenal. My son is falling asleep more quickly. Could it be the twenty yawns?

Kellee’s Review: I love Ricki’s story of how Henry has imprinted on this book! Trent and I read it, and he said “Night, night!” on each of the pages where someone was going to sleep. And like Ricki said, in addition to having beautiful illustrations and a sweet story, this book will definitely make your child sleepy! I cannot help but yawn when I am reading it.

One other thing Trent loves is a promotional piece we received with the book (and you could win below!): a door hanger. One side says, “Shhh…we’re yawning.” And the other side says, “Come in. We’re ready to play.” It is hanging on his door, and we have to flip it back and forth depending on if he is getting up or going to bed. And on the “Shhh” side, he says goodnight to the little girl.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Teachers might use this book to teach figurative language. Kids will enjoy the bold print of onomatopoeias. The illustrations feature aspects of the story that aren’t always present in the text. I love with authors and illustrators don’t match the illustrations and text perfectly because it provides such great opportunities for students to compare and contrast the story and pictures. They might talk about why the text doesn’t include all of the information from the illustrations and how this enhances the narrative. Also, kindergarten teachers and daycare providers can use this book right before nap time! I would have loved to have listened to this book as a child. Check out the Activity Kit!

Discussion Questions: Why doesn’t the author number the twenty yawns? How does this make the story more interesting to read?; What does Lucy do when she is frightened? How might you learn to soothe yourself when you are scared?; What activities do Lucy and her parents do together? What activities do you enjoy doing with family?

We Flagged: “Lucy started to carry Molasses back to her bed. But the other toys were looking at her, even Leonard, the baby Kangaroo. They seemed lonely.”

Read This If You Loved: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise BrownGoodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown

Recommended For: 

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  Follow All of the Stops on the Tour, and Don’t Forget to Enter the Giveaway!:

About the Authors:
Jane Smiley photo
Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, as well as five works of nonfiction and a series of books for young adults. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2006 she received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. This is her first picture book. She lives in Northern California.
laurencastillo_headshot (2)
Lauren Castillo is the illustrator of many books, including The Reader by Amy Hest. She has also written and illustrated several books, including Caldecott Honor book Nana in the City and The Troublemaker. She lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. To learn more, visit
Twitter: @studiocastillo.

RickiSigand Kellee Signature

**Thank you to Barbara Fisch for sending us this book and for allowing us to host the giveaway!**

9 thoughts on “Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review!: Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley and Lauren Castillo”

  1. Thanks a bunch for this awesome opportunity. My students and I love Lauren Castillo’s artwork and would be thrilled to be able to share this book with each other!

  2. I’ve started to see the cover and title on lots of blogs. It looks wonderful and it seems to have the full endorsements of your little ones so I’m sure it’s fabulous.


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