by Sean Taylor

Candlewick Press, $15.99, 32 pages

The World Champion of Staying Awake by Sean Taylor and Jimmy Liao is about a little girl named Stella that needs to go to sleep, but in her mind, she needs to get her animals, (the stuffed variety) to sleep first. Each animal wants to be the world champion of staying awake, but in the end, it’s Stella that becomes the champion … or maybe not. I’m a grown man, rather long in the tooth, but I enjoyed this book, for many reasons. The World Champion of Staying Awake is as fine a children’s book as there is on the market today, in many ways. Jimmy’s artwork is absolutely fabulous, cute, and funny. The story by Sean is just as cute and funnier, if that’s possible. The production quality of the book is first class, the colors are bold and vibrant, the binding high quality. With a modicum of care, this book should last through hundreds of bedtime readings, and be handed down through the generations. I suggest you grandparents buy two copies; give one to your grandchild, and keep one at your house for overnight visits. No child will want to be without it at bedtime.

David Broughton