CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 17. . . .January 9, 2015
It’s naptime, but the animals on the savannah don’t think they need any sleep. Each animal has its own excuse for not taking a nap, but a clever little girl has an easy trick for getting them all to have some rest.
Naptime, written and illustrated by French illustrator Iris de Moüy and translated by Shelley Tanaka, is a short story about getting a group of wild animals to take a nap. Different animals appear on every page, and each creature has a reason for not needing to sleep. Some of the excuses relate to the animal that is providing the excuse, such as the lion asserting that “kings don’t take naps”, while other explanations are more vague, like the warthog simply stating, “A nap? No way!”. Ultimately, however, a little girl gets each animal to close first one eye and then the other, and, in doing so, all the animals fall asleep.
There is not much text in this story which suits the simple style of de Moüy’s illustrations. The pages consist mostly of black drawings on a white background, with only a splash of colour either on the land or on the animal. The leopard, for instance, is coloured yellow amidst a black and white landscape while the black monkey sits on a black and white tree with a green top. The sparse use of colour may not appeal to all readers, but it is effective in drawing attention to the object of focus for each page.
While the tale, itself, is lighthearted and even somewhat silly in nature, the illustrations and hand-painted text give Naptime an interesting maturity in its design, one which lends itself well to making this story timeless. Anyone who has ever thought they didn’t need a nap will enjoy this fun tale of stubborn animals and the girl who makes them all get some much needed shut-eye.
Meredith Cleversey is a librarian in Cambridge, ON. She loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.
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other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.