Book review: I Dare You Not to Yawn by Hélène Boudreau and Serge Bloch

Children's book review of I Dare You Not to Yawn

Yawns are sneaky.

They can creep up on you when you least expect them.

Yawns aren’t the only things that are sneaky. So is this light-hearted and funny bedtime book.  It is also incredibly clever. And boy, do I love a clever book! It is a book that could easily be read over and over again without getting tiresome.

You get drawn into this story quite easily. You start reading with a sense that the narrator is on your side. You’re given warnings and lots of tips to help you quell a yawn: Look away when someone else yawns; Stay away from huggable and cosy items; Avoid bedtime stories and sleepy-time songs. Like me, you’ll probably start reading this story feeling quite confident and in control, but beware of the clever tactics in this book- both literary and visual.

The story, the voice, the language and the illustrations have all been well thought out. Illustrations feature characters with large, exaggerated mouths that are wide open. Talk of pyjamas and cuddly toys gets you thinking about bed. Yawns are described with exactness; your mouth starts making the motions of a yawn as you read aloud to your children and before you know it you’ve been hoodwinked and you’re yawing. This book is proof that yawning is most certainly contagious.

But trickery and psychology aside, this is a brilliant book to read. It’s well written, clever, and snippets of humour are subtly placed within the text. Best of all, although disguised as anti-bedtime book, it really gets you sleepy and in the mood for bed.

This book is aptly titled, I Dare you Not to Yawn. Are you up for the challenge? Do you think you can suppress a yawn while reading this book? Let me just warn you that I’m yet to come in under three yawns when reading this book to Cam.  (Just thinking about the book gets me yawning; I’ve yawned five times while writing this review).

Yawn or not, I’m certain this book won’t disappoint you.

Book Details

Author: Hélène Boudreau

Illustrator: Serge Bloch

ISBN: 978-1406343656

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd, April 2013

RRP: $24.95 (aud)

Suitable for ages: 2+

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Book review: I Dare You Not to Yawn by Hélène Boudreau and Serge Bloch


  1. Renèe said: On July 5, 2013

    Haha what a cute bedtime story, such a clever idea for a kids bedtime story we will have to give it a go.

  2. I started to yawn as soon as I started to read this post! LOL Yawning is so contagious. This is a really great idea for a fun bed time book.

  3. I’m yawning as I type this comment. The mere mention of the word had me yawning. Goodness, I can’t stop. Sounds like a book my children would enjoy.

    • :) I didn’t yawn…BUT I felt it I tried hard to suppress it and succeeded but this is only the review I bet I couldn’t if I read a whole book about yawning lol..sounds fun and funny and I accept your dare!

  4. I wasn’t yawning, I was just stretching my mouth
    (says Miss 5) as she tries to stay up another five minutes!
    No yawns were counted in the reading of your review!

  5. My son has asked me numerous times why yawning is so contagious!!! I was warned and prepared, but still yawned (only once!!!!) while reading the review.

  6. I haven’t been able to stop. The very idea of a yawn induces a yawn. Your review was a Yawn Fest from start to finish, de-bunking the myth that yawning has anything at all to do with boredom, and proving that the only thing needed for a truly interactive reading experience is an open mouth, I mean mind.

  7. Yes this is a great before bed story…………..sorry just had to yawn again.

  8. OMG… I’m almost assleep now that I cannot type more… :) Good book and funny review! Looking forward to read the book for my daughter.

  9. When I feel a yawn creep near, I start to sing and quell my fear.
    Then just when I think that I have won, the sneaky thing brings me undone!

  10. Gee Whiz! I yawned 3 times before I read your review. I yawned 4 times during your review. Just now I yawned 2 times while leaving my comment *YAWN* Make that 3. Meanwhile, this is my second attempt as I had planned to enter last night but the yawny yawns got the better of me… That gives me an idea! Time for bed. Goodnight.

  11. What an adorable premise! I hope they distribute it in the US, too :D

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Book review: I Dare You Not to Yawn by Hélène Boudreau and Serge Bloch

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