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this week's library book

Summertime means lots of things at our house: lazy mornings, corn on the cob, afternoons at the pool, ice cream cones, Saturdays spent at the beach with the cousins, the county fair, going to bed a bit later than usual.. and, of course, trips to the library.

I was first introduced to Don and Audrey Wood when C received The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear as a birthday present several years ago. So when I saw The Napping House at the library, I added it to our pile without even opening it up. I do this a lot at the library, find an author I like and then search through the stacks to see how many other books they've written. I figure if I love one book, the other books can't be half bad.

The Napping House tells the story of "a napping house, where everyone is sleeping". First the snoring granny, then a dreaming child, and on and on with a dozing dog, a snoozing cat, a slumbering mouse... and finally a wakeful flea, all in a pile on grandmother's bed.

When the flea decides to bite the mouse, which scratches the cat, which claws the dog.. and so on and so on, needless to say the nap is soon over.

I read in an interview with Audrey Wood that this book was based on the napping habits of their son Bruce, who refused to nap at home, but would nap at his granny's house where everything was quiet. "We learned by trial and error that the only way we could get him to sleep was to walk him the two blocks to his granny’s house. Everything there was restful and calm, and granny (my mother) always loved to take an afternoon nap. She owned a fluffy dog, and when granny, the dog, and Bruce settled into her cozy bed, everyone was dreaming in minutes. This became a daily ritual, and we began to refer to my mother’s home as "the napping house." That’s how the book was born."

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Reader Comments (38)

I LOVE That book! I've used it a lot when I was teaching. . . so many literacy activities can be done with this book. But, I thought you might find it interesting to know that the Wood's make their illustrations based off their kids, just like the book is based off their son's sleeping habits. :)

08.9.2010 | Unregistered CommenterJolie

I remember reading that book as a kid! It was a favorite. I always wonder how children's book authors think up their simple and fun stories, so it's great to hear the back story. You have great selections! :)

08.9.2010 | Unregistered Commentercde

I have always loved children's books, and this one looks great.

08.9.2010 | Unregistered CommenterJocelyn Stott

So sweet. Thanks for sharing!

Love this book! I've used it to teach kids prepositions.

08.9.2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

Oh, it's a favorite in our house - we have the board book. Love the story of how it came to be. Other great Audrey Wood books are "Silly Sally" and [especially] "Piggies."

08.9.2010 | Unregistered CommenterJules

If you love "The Napping House" (I do too!) - you will LOVE "King Bidgood's in the Bathtub" by Audrey and Don Wood. It is a favorite at our house.

08.9.2010 | Unregistered Commenterheather

One of my all time favorite books, and related to one of my most vivid childhood memories. I was in first or second grade when the Woods were on book tour for this book--they came to my school library and read it to us. :) Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on the baby!

08.9.2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate

This is a fun one! My sister gave it to my son, and it had a fun CD packaged with it. Usually I'm not a fan of CDs with books as the CD tends to get separated from the book, and lost, but this one is cute...it has rain in the background...a perfect "napping" noise!

08.9.2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Zschock

Love this book! The lighting in the book is so creative! It is so subtle but really adds to the book.

08.9.2010 | Unregistered CommenterHolly brain

I just taught a language workshop today based on Don and Audrey's book, "Quick as a Cricket". I have never read any of their books in Australia but I am going to hunt them out now. THanks for your lovely book reviews- I always enjoy them.

08.9.2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cregan

I love this book..have it saved away for future grandchildren. 26 year old daughter uses it in her kindergarten class room too.

08.10.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCKoerber

We love this one at our house! We have the board book version and the hardcover version. Thanks for the backstory - I love knowing there's a real little boy napping at his granny's house.

08.10.2010 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

I love the Woods! Don is the brother to one of my parent's friends & that is how we were introduced to their books. My sister and I were always lucky enough to receive some as presents. You must read if you haven't: Quick as a Cricket and King Bidgood's in the Bathtub! They were some of our favourites along with The Napping house. Glug, Glug, Glug...

08.10.2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Wren's

Love the Woods and LOVE summer trips to the library.

In fact, we're headed there today:). Sadly, only 2 more weeks until school starts! We can of course go during the school year, but it's not quite the same!

I love the Napping House, because of the progression! It's like the House that Jack Built ( I like Simms Tabak's version) or The Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly. I love to read it at storytime with all of my tiny friends!

08.10.2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

i quickly fell in love with all off the woods books 19 years ago...as we prep to move our daughter back to college for year two i would love to pull that book out of the attic and sit down with her + read it...if i can ever get her to sit still long enough :)

08.10.2010 | Unregistered Commenterlooploft

One of our favorites too! My girls laugh and laugh when I do sound effects for it. Another Don and Audrey Woods favorite is Piggies, hands down one of my favorite kids' books ever.

08.11.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

such an adorable post! love the summer traditions :)


08.11.2010 | Unregistered Commenterms pink

such a cute book!


08.11.2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

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