The Definitive Guide to

What's Next?

Written by Timothy Knapman and illustrated by Jane McGuinness
Published by Candlewick Press
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 3.9 / 5.0
List Price
Target Age
Book Type

What Does Bookroo Think of What's Next?

“This celebration of curiosity and loving fathers is sweet and full of fun details.”

As night falls, a baby badger wakes up and begins to explore, first in his underground home and then farther afield with his loving father in the night-time forrest above. His repeated question—”What’s next?”—propels the story and the little badger forward to new experiences, while opening an opportunity for readers to talk about the importance of appreciation versus repeated requests for more, more, more. As his curiosity gets the better of him and he sallies forth to explore the day-time alone, Baby Badger becomes acquainted with the delights of a world bathed with sunshine before realizing that he’s all alone and far too tired . . . just in time to be rescued by his dad. This simple story is carried by the illustrations, which create a world of interest in the dark-time and underground scenes rare in children’s books; the lost treasure, dinosaur bones, bulbs and other riches hidden beneath the surface add a sense of wonder and beauty to the badger’s world that gives little readers an opportunity to feel a thrill of discovery that mirrors that of Baby Badger. The contrast between night and day in the illustrations is poignant, and while colors of the day-time are vibrant and fun, the nighttime shines with a level of detail that belies the pure gray color scheme.

What's What's Next? About

Publisher Summary

An inquisitive baby badger is drawn to discover the world outside his den in an endearing, delightfully illustrated father-and-child story. Baby Badger sleeps all day in his snuggly burrow. When he wakes, he explores every nook of his home and wants to know “what’s next?” So Daddy takes him to the dark forest above to roll in soft moss and snuffle in bluebell bulbs and watch the silvery moon setting, a signal that night is ending and it’s time to go home. But if daytime is “what’s next,” how can Baby Badger sleep without seeing that? So he slips out alone to see the brilliant flowers and birds and to feel the yellow sun hot on his fur. Cozy illustrations and a child-friendly text depict a curious little creature dazzled by the world’s natural wonders — and a doting father who is there to guide him back if “what’s next” turns out to take him a bit too far.

What Kind of Book is What's Next?

Quotes from What's Next?

  • "Day smelled warm and fresh and just-been-rained-on. Baby Badger stepped out of his underground home and into a world of . . . green grass and orange flowers, red berries, brown birds, and purple butterflies."
  • "The moment his eyes were open, he would go exploring. Soon, he knew his underground home inside out. And that's when Baby Badger said . . . 'What's next?' "

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • There are lots of fun details to watch for throughout the book, particularly in the soil. What can your child find?

  • Baby Badger is awake at night (a nocturnal animal), but through his curiosity he learns about what you experience every day during the daytime. What can you learn from Baby Badger’s story about life at night? What other animals are awake?

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

The Book Snob Mom
Mom, Avid Reader, Austen Fangirl
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B is for Bookworm
Human Development Degree, Book-loving aunt
The Goodfather
Husband. Father. Children's Book Critic Extraordinaire:)

Book Lists That Include What's Next?

Book Lists › bedtime
Best Children's Books About Bedtime
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Children's Books About Curiousity
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Children's Books About Night
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Neat Children's Books About Nature
Kids Book Club
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Who Wrote What's Next?

Who Illustrated What's Next?

Jane McGuinness

Jane McGuinness received an MA in children’s book illustration from the Cambridge School of Art in England. Prickly Hedgehogs! is her first book. She says, “There’s something mysterious about animals that come out at night, while we’re fast asleep!” Jane McGuinness lives in England.

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What Has Timothy Knapman Said About What's Next?

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Timothy Knapman know that we want more details from them about What's Next?!

What Has Jane McGuinness Said About What's Next?

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Jane McGuinness know that we want more details from them about What's Next?!

Timothy Knapman's Book Dedication

To Owen, with love.

Jane McGuinness's Book Dedication

For Lucy.

When are badgers typically awake?
  1. during the day time
  2. at night
  3. all the time
  4. only at dusk
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Book Details

ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:
Publication Date:
November 5, 2019
Text Details:
This book was typeset in Quicksand.
Illustration Details:
The illustrations were done in mixed media.