Synopses & Reviews
Late, late, late, when you are fast asleep, wondrous things happen.
One by one, small creatures called the Wee Hours come out to play. They dance and clap and sing and create. Their adventures are the things of your dreams.
Wee readers will delight in finding numbers, clocks, and other surprises hidden in the gorgeous artwork on every page of this dreamy book.
Middle-grade author Watson (Elvis and Olive) addresses children directly in her debut picture book, a nighttime romp involving four imps who personify the earliest hours of the morning. A sleeping girl, dreaming about a sunny day, serves as a proxy for readers. "The clock struck one," writes Watson. "The first Wee Hour pulled books from your shelf and read them upside down.... He grabbed the sun from your dream and bounced it high like a ball." Subsequent Wee Hours-whose apparent ages correspond to their respective hours-release birds, horses, and dinosaurs from the girl's dreams and make a mess of her room with mischief worthy of The Cat in the Hat's Thing One and Thing Two. GrandPr 's (Flight of the Last Dragon) luminous pastels convey the rabble-rousers' infectious enthusiasm and create playful chaos. Older visitors arrive as the clock strikes five, six, and seven; these newcomers help the Wee Hours settle down to sleep and set right the disheveled room, a subtle gesture toward the ways older siblings can help out with the wee ones in their lives. Ages 3 6.--PW
PreS-Gr 2 In the earliest part of morning, while a child is fast asleep, the Wee Hours come to play. The first one likes to read the child's books upside down, build towers of her shoes, and bang his belly like a drum. The second Wee Hour likes to dance, setting the birds free from the girl's dreams, and treating them to a spellbinding play. The third and fourth hours free the horses and dinosaurs from her dreams while all the others join in, dancing and clapping. There is much celebration until Five O'Clock comes and gathers everyone around for whispered stories, and the sleepy animals and Wee Hours are led back into the child's dreams. It is up to Five, Six, and Seven O'Clock to put her room back in order before she awakes, unaware of the magical adventures that have taken place. Spare text is enriched by GrandPr 's wistful illustrations of tiny creatures creating delightful disorder in the youngster's bedroom while she sleeps. These invasive sprites make use of the elements in her dreams to pilot their adventures until the older hours approach and send them off to bed before the sunrise. Dreamy scenes, in warm pastels of lavender and plum, olive, and scarlet depict exciting escapades that will lure young ones to dreamland swiftly, in order to discover whether their own dreams can be equally delightful. A charming book for bedtime and one-on-one sharing. Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH--SLJ
Children will be tickled to see the wee hours of the morning come to life as irresistible, toddlerlike imps in this whimsical tale. Wee Hours One through Four, all carefully numbered, arrive one by one in a sleeping child's bedroom upon their associated clock-strike (youngsters will eagerly search for the clock in each spread to double-check the time). Each mischief-maker pulls a little something from the slumberer's dreams and incorporates it into playtime: One O'Clock bounces the sun like a ball; Two teaches the birds tricks; Three frees the horses for a jumping contest; Four releases the dinosaurs and leads all the creatures in a parade. All the while, the cat and goldfish look on, but the sleeper is never roused. The text has a cadence that lightly trips along. Luminous pastel illustrations-full-spread, characterized by reassuringly plump, rounded lines and innocently joyful faces, and featuring increasingly free-wheeling, off-kilter perspectives-capture the action. Just when the rumpus seems about to burst right out of the book, Five O'Clock arrives. Like a big brother, he soothes the Wee Hours with stories and back rubs and begins to clean up, aided by Six and Seven O'Clock. Wrapping up on a comforting note sure to set toddlers' heads bobbing, this fanciful vision of what happens in the wee hours is the delightful nonsense of dreams. (Picture book. 2-6)--Kirkus
As a child dreams, fanciful sprites appear, bringing fun and frolic. The first small creature, a Wee Hour called One o'Clock, arrives in a starry swoosh, startling the green-eyed cat and swimming goldfish. He tumbles books off the shelves and reads them upside down, balancing on his belled cap. A curly-haired Two o'Clock empties the closet and drawers, dancing with a red sock on her head. Next, a top-hatted jockey frees the horses and performs jumping backflips, while another pulls down curtains and leads a parade of dinosaurs, her long hair whirling into a tornado. All flip, skip, and leap until Five o'Clock settles them down with whispered stories. The final Wee Hours clean up and put everything right, as all the sleeping child's dreams are tucked peacefully away again. Each unique imp displays their number, and an analog alarm clock displays the hour, so the book works both to support counting and telling time. Pastel artwork in deep purples and blues, highlighted with a scatter of sparkling stars, packs each detailed full-color double-spread page in this whimsical bedtime story.- Lolly Gepson--Booklist Online
About the Author
is the author of two middle-grade novels, Elvis and Olive
and Elvis and Olive: Super Detectives
, both Junior Library Guild selections. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her wee daughter, Ivy. Visit her online at www.stephanie-watson.com.
Mary GrandPre is the illustrator of numerous children's books, the best known of which include the Harry Potter series. When creating the artwork for The Wee Hours, she was inspired by the glowing, fantastical images in one of her favorite picture books from her childhood, Peter Pan. She lives and works in Florida.