Springtime is officially here and with it, comes a new children’s book from Disney Hyperion perfect for the season. William Wakes Up by Linda Ashman and Chuck Groenink is a follow up to William’s Winter Nap, a cute story about sharing and being flexible. Through this follow-up, kids will learn about helping others and having responsibility.
Winter is over and William is awake, but his animal friends just want to keep sleeping. A good friend will be returning soon and he needs everyone’s help to clean the house and prepare a welcome back party for blue bird. But getting everyone to help out will be harder than he thought.
Told through charming rhymes, the animals slowly join William in his chores one-by-one. This story can be used for kids who are working on their counting skills by counting how many friends are helping William on each page.
The moral of the story comes via raccoon, who is the last to wake up and may in fact be pretending to sleep to get out of doing work. But he redeems himself in the end and through him, parents can start a discussion with thier kids about responsibility and the personal reward and satisfaction in a job well done.
Chuck Groenink’s illustrations continue to be charming in this sequel. What impresses me most about his style is the way he uses a light focal point to draw your attention to the main action, while still providing great details everywhere. In addition to illustrating William’s Winter Nap, he worked on another beautiful Disney Hyperion book called The Friend Ship, which I also recommend.
While William’s Winter Nap is ideal for bedtime, William Wakes Up is a better choice for a daytime read. It’s perfect for preschool ages and both books would also make great classroom resources for preschool teachers. One could be used as a lead-in to nap time, while the other makes a great wake up book.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.