Lynn Munsinger’s signature illustrations are marvelous in Boris and the Worrisome Wakies. Helen Lester’s voice is there but the story is a bit more modern than some of her more classic stories (instead of the parents making sure the child is made to go to sleep, the child is allowed to do whatever he wants). The quirk of having badgers go to school at night and sleep during the day (as badgers do) is a nice touch.
The story is simple: Boris has all the itches a child has when trying to go to bed: needs water, is afraid of the light, his pj’s are on backwards, his cuddle bunny is hogging the bed. He tosses and turns and cannot sleep. Therefore, he is late to school, falls asleep in class and is basically ignored by classmates and teacher alike. Of course, eventually Boris realizes what he must due to sleep during the day and be awake all night for school.
However, it is the illustrations that make the story for me. They are just super sweet and cuddly. They are bright and just the right amount of details Munsinger’s style of homey and familiar is seen on every page. These are not the traditional grumpy badgers, but some snuggly stuffed toy on the page. Yet, you believe that this is a child dealing with the issues at hand.
I am going to stick with Tacky the Penguin (probably my all-time favorite book of Lester’s and Munsinger, if not one of my all-time favorite books ever). But I am glad I gave this a shot. The right reader will love this book; I was not that reader.