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The Napping House

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Everyone knows the cumulative rhyme “This Is the House That Jack Built,” but The Napping House (1984) is close on its heels in the race for posterity: “And on that granny / there is a child / a dreaming child / on a snoring granny / on a cozy bed / in a napping house, / where everyone is sleeping.” Included in the napping house menagerie is a dozing dog, a snoozing cat, a Everyone knows the cumulative rhyme “This Is the House That Jack Built,” but The Napping House (1984) is close on its heels in the race for posterity: “And on that granny / there is a child / a dreaming child / on a snoring granny / on a cozy bed / in a napping house, / where everyone is sleeping.” Included in the napping house menagerie is a dozing dog, a snoozing cat, a slumbering mouse, and a wakeful flea who ends up toppling the whole sleep heap with one chomp! Don Wood’s delightfully detailed comical illustrations are bathed in moonlight blues until the sun comes up, then all is color and rainbows and a very awake household. Awards: ALA Notable Children’s Book, New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year, Golden Kite Award winner, California Young Reader Medal winner, Booklist Editors’ Choice


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Everyone knows the cumulative rhyme “This Is the House That Jack Built,” but The Napping House (1984) is close on its heels in the race for posterity: “And on that granny / there is a child / a dreaming child / on a snoring granny / on a cozy bed / in a napping house, / where everyone is sleeping.” Included in the napping house menagerie is a dozing dog, a snoozing cat, a Everyone knows the cumulative rhyme “This Is the House That Jack Built,” but The Napping House (1984) is close on its heels in the race for posterity: “And on that granny / there is a child / a dreaming child / on a snoring granny / on a cozy bed / in a napping house, / where everyone is sleeping.” Included in the napping house menagerie is a dozing dog, a snoozing cat, a slumbering mouse, and a wakeful flea who ends up toppling the whole sleep heap with one chomp! Don Wood’s delightfully detailed comical illustrations are bathed in moonlight blues until the sun comes up, then all is color and rainbows and a very awake household. Awards: ALA Notable Children’s Book, New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year, Golden Kite Award winner, California Young Reader Medal winner, Booklist Editors’ Choice

30 review for The Napping House

  1. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    I thought this book was so cozy, cute and funny, simple and adorable. We see a house asleep at night. The bed starts out with grandma snoring and then the grandchild gets on top of her and the dog on top of him and the cat on top of the dog and finally the mouse tops it all off. A flea bits the mouse and each page shows them waking up. Like I said, simple, but simply marvelous. I would like to own this for the sheer joy of it. Sheer joy. The nephew loved this story. He thought them sleeping on eac I thought this book was so cozy, cute and funny, simple and adorable. We see a house asleep at night. The bed starts out with grandma snoring and then the grandchild gets on top of her and the dog on top of him and the cat on top of the dog and finally the mouse tops it all off. A flea bits the mouse and each page shows them waking up. Like I said, simple, but simply marvelous. I would like to own this for the sheer joy of it. Sheer joy. The nephew loved this story. He thought them sleeping on each other in a pile and each page they were in a different position was the best. When they were getting up, that tickled him. He gave this 4 stars. Bravo.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Well, since for some reason several people are being nice enough to like my non-review, I'll just say there are probably several core books in any house that are read in the "formative" years when you are trying to figure out how to make the little urchins happy and/or get them to sleep, books you wear out, ripped and torn and ragged, spattered with baby food and milk and vomit, books that are indistinguishable from your parenting years and this is one of mine, one I look back with a kind of swe Well, since for some reason several people are being nice enough to like my non-review, I'll just say there are probably several core books in any house that are read in the "formative" years when you are trying to figure out how to make the little urchins happy and/or get them to sleep, books you wear out, ripped and torn and ragged, spattered with baby food and milk and vomit, books that are indistinguishable from your parenting years and this is one of mine, one I look back with a kind of sweet longing, in spite of the fact there might at the time been partly desperation: "will he for the love of god not sleep?" But this is funny, silly, one of those where each occupant of a house piles on to the sleeping Gramma until the bed breaks (see James Thurber's "The Night the Bed Fell,") and all Holy Heck (children are involved here, now) breaks loose. No napping, henceforth, but certain smiles ensue. I stop to ask my three teenagers, playing Monopoly as I write this during the deepening Coronavirus crisis, and ask them, "You remember The Napping House?!" and they cry out "Yes, I remember when the cat jumps on and screeches!" "Everything is all peaceful and a cat goes to sleep on a dog and then a mouse. . ." "The gnat bites the mouse that wakes the cat that wakes the dog and so suddenly no one is napping!" You know, it's a pretty good life after all. Or can be!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I love this children's short story. I love the little boy. The dog. The granny. The cat. The mouse. And I even like the flea. I love the words. And I especially love the awesome pictures.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ronyell

    “The Napping House” is one of Audrey Wood’s and Don Wood’s earlier children’s books and is probably one of their most peaceful books ever written. “The Napping House” was extremely popular back in the 80s for its numerous awards that it won which includes: the 1984 New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book, the 1984 Golden Kite Award from Society of Children’s Book Writers and the 1984 American Library Association Notable Book for Children. Audrey Wood’s lyrical writing is at its best as s “The Napping House” is one of Audrey Wood’s and Don Wood’s earlier children’s books and is probably one of their most peaceful books ever written. “The Napping House” was extremely popular back in the 80s for its numerous awards that it won which includes: the 1984 New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book, the 1984 Golden Kite Award from Society of Children’s Book Writers and the 1984 American Library Association Notable Book for Children. Audrey Wood’s lyrical writing is at its best as she narrates how all the family members are sleeping in the house only to be awakened by a wakeful flea. Don Wood’s illustrations are colorful and beautiful beyond all reason, especially when he draws the rain shower at the beginning of the book and he makes the sky look gray, which is extremely effective on the realism of this story as the characters look like real people. Another advantage to Don Wood’s illustrations is that his illustrations are humorous especially of the scenes where each family member bump into each other and their eyes popped out of their heads as they are surprised at being awakened by each other. “The Napping House” is truly a masterpiece and because of Audrey Wood’s creative verses and Don Wood’s beautiful illustrations, this book is surely to capture the hearts of many young children. I recommend this book to children ages three and up since it is simple to read and the situation is extremely simple to understand. Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This is a book that has been one that is picked over and over...giggles and twinkling eyes bubble up to become laughter that tumbles out time after time. Hugs follow...and memories are made. Priceless.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Well, this book grew on me. Probably because my daughter insists on reading it every damn night. Initially to me it just read like the "There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea" song, listing one thing after the other after the other. BUT, this book is actually amazing and here are the reasons: 1. All the synonyms for "sleeping". There's a snoring granny, a dreaming child, a dozing dog and snoozing cat in the napping house. Yeah, I listed those from memory. Like I said, Every. Damn. Night. Maybe s Well, this book grew on me. Probably because my daughter insists on reading it every damn night. Initially to me it just read like the "There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea" song, listing one thing after the other after the other. BUT, this book is actually amazing and here are the reasons: 1. All the synonyms for "sleeping". There's a snoring granny, a dreaming child, a dozing dog and snoozing cat in the napping house. Yeah, I listed those from memory. Like I said, Every. Damn. Night. Maybe she doesn't care about the words right now, but I love the idea of building her vocabulary and I hope that as she grows she will understand that for every thing she wants to say, there are many many ways of saying it. 2. All the synonyms give the text a lyrical quality which is fun to read out loud. Every. Damn. Night. 3. There's so much happening in the illustrations. The text is talking about the granny, but you can see the child is starting to wake up and then the next page he's made his way to granny's bed while the dog is stretching to join them on the next page. It's a nice progression. I need to figure out if the flea is in all the pictures or if it just makes an appearance when the mouse moseys over to sleep on the cat. I'll check on that tonight.* 4. My daughter loves reading it. Every. Damn. Night. *yep, the wakeful flea is in every picture making it's way to the cozy bed in the napping house where everyone is sleeping. It's fun to find.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rossy

    Adorable and funny! The illustrations are superb and there is repetition, cumulative sentences, causes and effect, perfect! :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kate Hackett

    Best 12 bucks I bought this. For no real actual reason. 12 bucks on kindle. Worth it. Kinda. Why does this need more words.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Adina Cappell

    This is an Anglo-Saxon version of sorts of the old Passover song, Chad Gadya. In the Heeb version, God destroys the angel of death, who killed the butcher, who slaughtered the ox, who drank the water, that extinguished the fire, that burned the stick, that beat the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the goat. In "The Napping House," the wakeful flee bites the mouse, who scares the cat, who claws the dog, who thumps the child, who bumps the granny who breaks the bed. The latter is joyously embraced This is an Anglo-Saxon version of sorts of the old Passover song, Chad Gadya. In the Heeb version, God destroys the angel of death, who killed the butcher, who slaughtered the ox, who drank the water, that extinguished the fire, that burned the stick, that beat the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the goat. In "The Napping House," the wakeful flee bites the mouse, who scares the cat, who claws the dog, who thumps the child, who bumps the granny who breaks the bed. The latter is joyously embraced as an opportunity to celebrate the "glorious day," watch the rainbow, and play outside. In the Jewish version, we get constantly reminded that the dead goat cost our father 2 goddamn hard-earned zuzim. In the Anglo version, everyone naps first, and then wake up to run and play, while the Jews conclude our endless seder with Chad Gadya, thus saving the nap as best for last.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Cute and humorous! :-) I loved this sort of tale when I was a kid--one thing building upon another. It's so funny!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christina/ The Blog for Teachers, Readers, & Life!

    I love the comic illustrations and the hilariously funny story! :) This is my favorite children's book! :) I read it every year at least once.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa RV

    One of my favorite childrens' books

  13. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    This delightful cumulative tale from Audrey and Don Wood - a married couple and author/illustrator team whose many picture-book projects together have included Quick as a Cricket , Heckedy Peg , and the Caldecott Honor book King Bidgood's in the Bathtub - opens quietly, with an aerial view of a house standing peacefully in the rain: a house where everyone is sleeping. Zooming in on an upstairs bedroom, it shows Granny, grandchild, family dog, and pet cat all contently snoozing, until a This delightful cumulative tale from Audrey and Don Wood - a married couple and author/illustrator team whose many picture-book projects together have included Quick as a Cricket , Heckedy Peg , and the Caldecott Honor book King Bidgood's in the Bathtub - opens quietly, with an aerial view of a house standing peacefully in the rain: a house where everyone is sleeping. Zooming in on an upstairs bedroom, it shows Granny, grandchild, family dog, and pet cat all contently snoozing, until a little flea sets off a chain reaction, waking everyone up! The Napping House is another one of those classic picture-books, more numerous than I'd like them to be, that I somehow missed in childhood, and have been meaning to pick up ever since. My online friends mostly seem to love it, and it's not difficult to see why! The cumulative narrative, and engaging oil illustrations will draw young readers in, and keep them involved. As for the adults, I can't speak for anyone else, but as someone who thinks longingly of sleep (of which I never seem to get enough), and considers a daytime nap the epitome of decadent indulgence, any book which celebrates this activity is a-okay with me!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katie Foster

    This book has a lot of repetition to it, which is perfect for 3-6 year olds. The story is about a house that has a lot of nappers in it! The text repeats itself each page, adding something new that is napping. The artwork is fun to look at, because it shows the progression of the nappers. The end of the book also repeats itself, except how everyone wakes up. It would be a good book to do a class book out of. Each student could be responsible for one napper to draw and write about. It's also a bo This book has a lot of repetition to it, which is perfect for 3-6 year olds. The story is about a house that has a lot of nappers in it! The text repeats itself each page, adding something new that is napping. The artwork is fun to look at, because it shows the progression of the nappers. The end of the book also repeats itself, except how everyone wakes up. It would be a good book to do a class book out of. Each student could be responsible for one napper to draw and write about. It's also a book that has a very simple main idea with many supporting details, so a teacher could do a graphic organizer and turn it into a summary. I don't think I would read this to older elementary kids, but the younger ones will enjoy it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    This is a wonderful book! (I’m so glad I returned the board book the library first gave me and borrowed & instead read this hardcover edition.) This is a really fun cumulative tale that is very amusing, and the illustrations are superb, really special. I love the cozy bed, the snoring granny, the dreaming child, the dozing dog, the snoozing cat, the slumbering mouse, and even the wakeful flea, and the daytime nap and what ends the nap. This is highly enjoyable story to read aloud. Over and over. Th This is a wonderful book! (I’m so glad I returned the board book the library first gave me and borrowed & instead read this hardcover edition.) This is a really fun cumulative tale that is very amusing, and the illustrations are superb, really special. I love the cozy bed, the snoring granny, the dreaming child, the dozing dog, the snoozing cat, the slumbering mouse, and even the wakeful flea, and the daytime nap and what ends the nap. This is highly enjoyable story to read aloud. Over and over. This is a nearly perfect book. The Woods team creates amazing books!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    One of the books most loved by my children when they were little. I love it too. The artwork tells the story even without the words, but of course the words make a beautiful poem, and it is a great book for predictions! The grandma's (mimaw's) face when she bounces is priceless. I am Mimaw -- that is what my 2 baby grandsons call me. Well one of them. The other doesn't talk yet.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Zac Brodrick

    Next to "The Going to Bed Book", this is my favorite children's book that I read to Noah every chance I get. Even though I read it to him when I am putting him down for a nap, it talks about a house full of napping people waking up... maybe that is why he only takes 40 minutes naps!!! Oh well, still a great book with great pictures!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    My 3 y/o daughter loved this book so much, that not only did I have to read it over and over, but we had to "take turns" doing it. With the repetition of the words and wonderful pictures illustrated throughout, she was able to capture the story by memorization and tell me it in her own words. Too cute...and highly recommended!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Luz Herrera

    I thought this book was good I understand that its for beginning readers so theres lots of repetition in it. Im sure the younger kids would enjoy reading it because they would comprehend it.I would probably read it to my class and see what message they get out of it,if they even find one. Recommended to younger crowds(kindergarden etc..)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jackie "the Librarian"

    I love the snoring granny! And I love the slow build up to the wakeful flea, and the expressions on faces of the cat and the dog upon being landed on. Poor dog, he really gets clawed! A perfect storytime book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Megan B

    This is a major family favorite. My daughter's role is to always say "where everyone is sleeping". The illustration is gorgeous and the repetition is really fun and recitable for even the youngest ones.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    One of the cutest kids books ever. If you have kids, you need this book. My kindergarteners LOVED this book. I've probably read this book to kids 1000 times. It is really cute though!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Cute.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shiloah

    Cute!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    Young children’s book with lovely illustrations — just the opposite of Goodnight Moon (in that it’s waking up!). Deserves to be on any child’s shelf.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Guangmin

    I like the book due to the pictures, which make me relaxed and peaceful. This is one of the good book for bed time. There are many descriptive words and repetition sentences that sound like a poetry, which may assist children easily to remember the words, sentences, and the sequence such as the person who is in the cozy bed, the second one, and the last one. Moreover, in the last several pages, which use some different verbs to describe each subject. The rhyme sentences can help children to reca I like the book due to the pictures, which make me relaxed and peaceful. This is one of the good book for bed time. There are many descriptive words and repetition sentences that sound like a poetry, which may assist children easily to remember the words, sentences, and the sequence such as the person who is in the cozy bed, the second one, and the last one. Moreover, in the last several pages, which use some different verbs to describe each subject. The rhyme sentences can help children to recall and memorize the story and also helps to develop cognitive skills such as cause and effect in the story. Children will also like this book and repeat some sentences or recite them with me when I read the book. Children may feel crazy when they share their bedroom information and communicate with others. They might have some body movements such jumping, bouncing, and snoring as they are looking at the book. While reading it aloud, I would emphasize the adjectives which describe the person or animal and the verbs that they will make children more concentrate on.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Harney

    Summary: The book The Napping House starts on a rainy night with a house, which has a cozy bed in it where a granny is sleeping. Since the bed is a cozy bed, everyone wants to sleep in it. Throughout the beginning of the book, one by one a child, dog, cat, and a mouse all pile on top of the granny while sleeping. They are all cozy in the bed until a flea climbs on top of the mouse. Instead of the flea being sleepy like everyone else the flea is wide-awake and bites the mouse that wakes up, causi Summary: The book The Napping House starts on a rainy night with a house, which has a cozy bed in it where a granny is sleeping. Since the bed is a cozy bed, everyone wants to sleep in it. Throughout the beginning of the book, one by one a child, dog, cat, and a mouse all pile on top of the granny while sleeping. They are all cozy in the bed until a flea climbs on top of the mouse. Instead of the flea being sleepy like everyone else the flea is wide-awake and bites the mouse that wakes up, causing a chain reaction to which everyone wakes up. It is morning however so they go about their day with smiles on their faces. Age: This is a good primary age book because it has a mixture of small words like cat, dog, bed, for the younger age children however it also has bigger words that a 5 year old may not be aware of like dozing, snoozing, and wakeful. It can help teach children words they may not be familiar with and it also has nice pictures. I could imagine younger children thinking it’s funny how all the characters are sleeping on top of each other. Artistic elements: When talking about the artistic element of space in this book, in the beginning of the book both pages are used, for instances, the boy and the cat are on the left page and the granny, the dog, and the bed are on the right. As the book continues the majority of your focus tends to go to the right page because the characters that were on the left moved to the bed. The illustrator did a good job with using the whole page and not just half. The color in the book is more dual colors because its nighttime however, it’s a small amount of colors that are being used. The shades change a little but its’ mostly green, blue, yellow, and brown. The lines in this book are very defined and detailed you can tell in the hair of the boy and the fur of the dog. The way the granny’s nightgown and boys shirt has movement in them shows the detail that was put into this book. Recommendation: I think this is a good book I remember reading it when I was little. Its fun picturing all the characters to as if they were real ,and how they would all fit in one bed. The words are not advanced; it can get annoying to read the same words repeatedly. However, the words in this book are a pattern and would be a good book to teach patterns. For the most part, it is a good book and I definitely recommend it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Manik Sukoco

    This is the Napping House, where everyone is sleeping. It's dark, raining and very subdued. First there's the cozy bed, followed by the snoring granny, the dreaming child, dozing dog, snoozing cat, slumbering mouse and finally, the wakeful flea. And then the wakeful flea bites the mouse... The team of Audrey and Don Woods has put together a wonderful, gentle bedtime story pre-schoolers will want to hear again and again. With easy to read, repetitive text and beautifully detailed, expressive illu This is the Napping House, where everyone is sleeping. It's dark, raining and very subdued. First there's the cozy bed, followed by the snoring granny, the dreaming child, dozing dog, snoozing cat, slumbering mouse and finally, the wakeful flea. And then the wakeful flea bites the mouse... The team of Audrey and Don Woods has put together a wonderful, gentle bedtime story pre-schoolers will want to hear again and again. With easy to read, repetitive text and beautifully detailed, expressive illustrations, youngsters watch the ever growing pile of sleeping bodies move, change position and then slowly lighten and brighten as one by one, everyone wakes up. As the book ends, the last page shows the napping house where no one is sleeping. It's sunny and cheerful with a rainbow in the sky. This is a classic book and is a wonderful addition to anyone's library. I've used it successfully in children's literacy programs - kids never seem to get tired of reading it and looking at the pictures.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I absolutely LOVE this book. It was the first children's book I knew I had to buy when I found out I was pregnant. The pictures are just as much part of the story as the words and the amount of times I read this as a child are countless. I highly recommend this book to any child, especially those children at heart :)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Christophel

    I thought this book was adorable and great for young readers! The pictures all coincided with the words so it was easy to follow, along with simple text on each page. I would recommend this book for any classroom because it will keep the student's attention and also keep them entertained with the illustrations.

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