Monday, May 29, 2006

Reader's Diary #99- Audrey Wood (author) and Don Wood (illustrator): The Napping House

Despite me being a pretty sentimental guy (I can be a downright sook on occasion), I still don't go in for sappy children's books. Mistakenly, I thought this this would be such a book.

A lot of children's books that revolve around bedtime tend to be overly saccharine. I get that it's a bonding time and maybe parents are looking for something soothing to help their children relax, but we don't need books that make us want to brush our teeth again afterwards.
The Napping House is everything I look for in a children's book (geez, I'm certainly dishing out the praise lately- where's the overly critical John we all love to hate?). Audrey Wood's simple, building story is perfect for early readers to join in (a la This is The House That Jack Built), and full of great language. I especially like her choices to describe sleeping (i.e., dozing, snoring, etc).
And equally great are Don Wood's illustrations. As more and more characters pile unto the bed, there's a lot of humourous positions and expressions to entertain all ages. On subsequent readings of the book, readers can also look for the characters in the pictures before they join the others on the bed (my daughter and I had a great time trying to find the mouse). But the highlight of the illustrations is in the colours. They start of with tones of soft blue and as the characters wake up one by one, more and more colours are brought into the pictures until the room is bright again and it is day.
There's so much to see in this extremely fun book.

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I can't remember the last time I read a kid's book, and now I want to read this one. Well said, sir.