Our book today is Brazilian illustrator Vin Vogel’s follow-up to his 2015 classic The Thing About Yetis – joyful news to those of us who loved that book and its roly-poly head-tufted version of the famed Himalayan snow-man. The new book from Penguin’s Dial Books imprint is called BedTime for Yeti, and it opens by revealing a fact that’s eluded cryptozoologists but that I myself have long suspected: “Yetis and their stuffed friends stick together like peanut butter and jelly.”
Our Yeti takes this stuffed friend everywhere: birdwatching, butterfly-netting, playground-swinging, even partnering at the lucrative Yeti lemonade stand. They read comics together, eat cookies together, and even brave the dreaded Yeti bath-time together. And most especially, they’re together at bedtime every night.
But fans of Mo Willems’ indispensable Knuffle Bunny will be able to anticipate the main peril of such a close friendship – is there a well-rounded reader anywhere in the world who isn’t familiar with the look on little Trixie’s face when she realizes that her beloved Knuffle Bunny has been misplaced?
This happens to Yeti: the little suffed friend goes missing, and Yeti pandemonium results: the basement is searched, as is the toy box and the garbage, all to no avail. And to make matters worse, an inevitable trial is drawing nearer: facing bedtime alone. This can be a problem, we’re told, because “The thing about yetis is that (sometimes) they’re afraid of the dark.”
The night is not only dark but stormy, and our Yeti is terrified of every creeping shadow on the bedroom walls (astute readers will recall the main character of Greg Long’s 2013 Yeti Turn Out the Light having similar problems). But just when courage seems hardest to find, our Yeti sees a chance to save his little stuffed friend from danger and promptly forgets about his own fears in order to save the day.
The toddlers who will love this book for Vogel’s bright, happy digital artwork very likely won’t notice those messages of friendship and overcoming the fear of a dark bedroom, try though their designated book-reading adults might to emphasize them. But every toddler who flips these pages will immediately understand the underlying and far more important message: hold onto your little stuffed friend until you’re 70.
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