Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"The Napping House"


Title: The Napping House
Author: Audrey Wood
Illustrator: Don Wood
Publisher: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1984
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: K-2

Summary: The cumulative story gives a few sentences, and as it continues, it repeats everything said on the pages before it. A granny, a child, a dog, a cat, a mouse, and a flea are trying to sleep. Then, the flea bites the mouse, which wakes the cat, the dog, the child, and the granny. Now there is no one asleep in the house.

Response: This is perhaps the most well-known book written by Audrey and Don Wood. It won the Caldecott Medal in 1984. I think it is most appealing because it is a cumulative story and it continues to build. Beginning readers will love it because of its repetition and predictability. The text itself is very simplistic sentences that continue to build upon each other. The text matches the illustrations in the book, which are by far the most important part. The double page spreads are created using oil on pressed boards. The illustrations capture the sleepy and quiet atmosphere of the story. The old lady in the bed is hilarious because she is longer than her bed, and the bed itself is almost curved in shape. The pictures are all done in a blue color, showing that it is dark out and raining, perfect sleeping conditions. All the characters in the book are in every picture, but as the story progresses you see them all climbing into the bed. The mouse is on the mirror, the cat in its basket, the dog under a pillow, and the young boy in the chair. The perspective from which we see the pictures changes as the characters pile on top of the bed. The colors are very rich and bright. As the story reaches the turning point, you can see out the window that the rain is starting to let up. As the rest of the story progresses, the pictures get brighter and brighter. By the time everyone is awake, you can see the bright sun coming in through the window. The last page is opposite of the first, with bright colors, beautiful weather, and a house that is awake. The great illustrations really do tell the bulk of the story.

Teaching Ideas: This book is a great way to get students involved in writing. They could write cumulative stories themselves, along with drawing the pictures. Students will enjoy that because it is a very simple method of writing. For younger students, there are great activity pages on Audrey Wood's website. There is one worksheet that students complete to find shapes inside the house. Napping House

1 comment:

Michael M said...

Lauren,
Thanks for your thoughtful review. One of my guest bloggers enjoyed "The Napping House" as well. I hope you enjoy "Piggies" and "Quick as a Cricket" too by Audrey and Don Wood. They are both favorites.

I also wanted to let you know that we referenced your posting. Check it out at the Kid eLit+ blog