This third installment of Hardy’s Jake series begins with the eruption of a mighty yawn from the eponymous fluffy white dog, who is made drowsy by too much popcorn and the stultifying TV game show Feline Feud. In semicorporeal form as a nebulous, cherubic figure, the yawn wafts out a window and visits other domiciles. A family of squirrels cooking acorn soup is rendered bleary-eyed, while a bevy of bunnies playing checkers is made sleepy enough for the yawn to pilfer some carrot slices. Avoiding truck drivers, the yawn moves on to a pod of lizards watching insect videos and finally beds down as the whole town starts snoring. Hardy builds the slender narrative from simple, repetitive plot points couched in winsome verse—“He zoomed and loomed floating down the whole block; no one is safe for it’s now yawn o’clock!”—that youngsters will remember. LL’s illustrations are captivating, with a varied palette that ranges from bright pastels to nighttime greens. Her compositions are sprinkled with witty details—one squirrel is reading The Efficient Nutcracker—and her drawings ably convey the cuteness of yawning critters. The story is catchy and whimsical while cannily exploiting the implacable infectiousness of the yawning instinct; those in search of an effective device for putting to bed a 4-year-old will love it.

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