When my husband first brought The Napping House into our home, touting that it was one of his childhood favorites, I wondered if it would be current enough to be fun for my 2.5 year old to sit and listen to. (After all, it was published when I was just four years old!)
Well, the short answer to that is that she loves this book, and, secretly, so do I! The playful repetition in the book helps the reader to participate by joining along in the sing-songy lines and fuels opportunities for making animal and snoring noises along with the funny characters we meet in The Napping House.
The book begins with a rainy dreary night in a tired house. It opens with a plump, snoring granny and climaxes with a sleepy child, dog, cat, mouse, and flea all perched atop the granny in the silliest of positions, making readers and listeners alike giggle.
Each character gets it’s own creative way to awaken the next. This wild sequence of events unfolds to a happy house where “no one now is napping.”
My favorite part of this book is the illustrations. The New York Times awarded this book Best Illustrated Children’s Book in 1984. Don Wood’s playful images help children understand each part of the book from the yawning dog to the clawing cat. His depictions of this hilarious tale make the words on the page come to life. The images really convey the story of how everyone ended up in that small bed, bending with each addition, and how each fun character woke the other up in the silliest of fashions.
Audrey Wood and Don Wood have certainly created an imaginative piece of literature that you can read over and over again, each time inspiring laughter from your audience. I would highly recommend this book for kids of all ages.