"Here are our editor's picks for the most notable and hotly awaited titles for children . . . out this fall."
The Full Moon at the Napping House
The Napping House is anything but in this companion to the Woods’ evergreen 1984 picture book. Nearly all of the familiar players return—the granny, curly-haired boy, fuzzy dog, and tawny cat—but under the diaphanous light of an enormous moon, “everyone is restless.” Audrey Wood again uses a cumulative structure, but while a tiny flea started a chain reaction that awakened everyone in The Napping House, this time a cricket has the opposite effect as it chirps “A full-moon song/ that soothes the mouse,/ who calms the cat,/ who gentles the dog,/ who snuggles the boy,/ who hugs the granny,/ in the dreamy bed,/ in the full-moon house,/ where no one now is restless.”
The pale white glow of the moon gives Don Wood’s scenes a jittery midnight energy as the boy plays catch with the dog and the beleaguered granny tries to get comfortable. Concluding in a state of cozy restfulness, the Woods’ story serves as a pleasing inversion of the previous book and works even better as a bedtime read.
Readers who have long embraced the silly serenity of The Napping House (HMH, 2009) will love the raucous mood of The Full Moon at the Napping House–where no one in the house is sleeping.
One night the full moon pours its light into a restless house; Granny is wide awake, the child is fidgety, the dog is playful, and there’s a prowling cat and a worried mouse. Eventually, a chirping cricket comes to the rescue with his soothing song that kicks off the needed calm that helps the inhabitants finally get some rest. Like the original story, this cumulative tale is told through lyrical language and rich vocabulary. The final watercolor illustrations shows a full moon overlooking a peaceful household. A wonderful storytime addition, particularly where The Napping House is popular.
–Gwen Collier, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, NY
This companion to the Woods’ classic The Napping House (1984) offers a twist on its premise with cumulative text, increasingly comical chaos, and a memorable refrain in this charming bedtime tale.
It’s nighttime, and “There is a house, / a full-moon house, / where everyone is restless,” starting with “sleepless Granny / in a wide-awake bed.” Sleep proves increasingly elusive as her bedroom becomes a hub of activity: a “fidgety child” tossing a ball, and then, consecutively, a “playful dog,” a “prowling cat,” and a “worried mouse.” But just as chaos crescendos, a cricket sings a “full-moon song / that soothes the mouse, / who calms the cat, / who gentles the dog,” and so on, until “no one now is restless.” Softly rendered, luminous art illustrates and expands the lilting text, incorporating varying perspectives and eyecatching, whimsical details.
Although those familiar with the earlier title will appreciate Wood’s playful take—here flipping the concept from daytime nappers disrupted by a peppy flea to, instead, sleepless pandemonium quieted by a chirping cricket—this entertaining but ultimately restful story easily stands alone.
— Shelle Rosenfeld
Emily Ring, manager and event coordinator at Inklings Bookshop in Yakima, Wash., is thrilled with the recent crop of new children’s books – those that already fill her store’s shelves and those that soon will. She shares her enthusiasm for some of her favorite picks from the fall harvest.
One picture book that I’m very excited about is The Full Moon at the Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood. The Napping House is one of my absolute favorite read-alouds. It never fails to get a rise out of kids when I read it at storytime. To have a new Napping House is the best thing ever! We had a lot of preorders and I’ve been telling people about this book, but honestly we haven’t been able to keep it on the shelf long enough to do a lot of handselling yet.
Advertised as a companion book to the beloved classic "The Napping House" in this new episode, readers are reacquainted with the original cast of characters. However the situation is the exact opposite. Instead of everyone piled on Granny's bed sleeping, the Napping House is far from calm as the curly-haired boy fidgets, Granny is sleepless, and the critters are restless. All of this turmoil is because the full moon's bluish glow permeates the Napping House. It looks as though Granny isn't going to catch a wink of sleep until the cricket's song sets off a relaxing chain reaction through all the inhabitants.
Audrey Wood masterfully employs the cumulative structure making use of repetitive phrases, but instead of building to a climax, she settles down the Napping House and lulls everyone to sleep. Don Wood's illustrations reanimate the original Napping House with the rich colors and soft textures of the furnishings which, along with Granny, appear to be aching for a good night's sleep in spite of blue glow of the moonscape. "The Full Moon at the Napping House" spirits readers to a familiar place for a warm and fuzzy bedtime story.
Peggy Tibbetts, Reviewer