Very young children tell it like it is. So does Iris De Mouy in her enchanting book, NAPTIME. This author speaks kid. It’s strong language gets better and better every page turn. The girl on the cover is beautifully rendered in black paint with bold brush strokes to create the colorful jungle setting. Wild animals appear on the page one at a time with their candid gripes. Zebra looks us in the eye saying, all in caps, “I DON’T WANT TO TAKE A NAP.” Can two year olds relate to this text? You bet they can. And animals are in agreement as they support each others statements. Crocodile tells us that naps are for little babies. Hippo, who occupies the other side of this double page spread simply adds, “TINY LITTLE BABIES.” You get the picture. The author has created art that depicts animals that look sure of themselves. They know who they are. Elephant tells us, “I’M TOO BIG TO HAVE A NAP.” It’s hard to argue with that logic. Gorgeous splashes of color surround the jungle animals rendered in black paint. Hyena guffaws, saying, “HA, HA, HA. A NAP? WHAT A JOKE!” Brazen and hideous, hyena’s washed over with yellow. But the little girl has to get these animals on the same page. After all, it IS nap time. She gives practical advice to the jungle beasts who have gathered together at the end of the book – on the same page, so to speak. One finger raised she tells them, “LISTEN TO ME!” They do listen to her and the reader watches as the animals do what she says. They are asleep by the last page, by the way, but you’ll have to read the book to find out how she coaches rather than coaxes them to fall asleep. So if you have insomnia you might want to heed the advice in this book by Iris De Mouy. What a delightful book in every way! I do have a soft spot for irreverence in children’s books. I’m also partial to those books that can be acted out over and over again. Most children will have everything they need to play nap time after enjoying this book. The child is in charge and it’s time for the toys to nap. Gather some animals and see what they say about nap time. Borrow some lines from the book. Invent your own. Change the setting by taking out farm animals. Maybe pig claims he’s too muddy to take a nap. What will rooster say about nap time? The possibilities launched by this exceptional children’s book are endless. De Mouy lives in Paris. Her book lives in the hearts of the little people who are lucky enough to have big people pick this book.
We have Groundwood Books to thank for the English translation and the second printing in 2015. It’s high time you got your very own NAPTIME!