A little girl persuades a menagerie of animals to take a nap.
Simple, bold, painted pictures of wild animals include hand-lettered, full-caps declarations of their individual statements resisting naps. “I’M TOO BIG TO HAVE A NAP” declares an elephant whose form breaks the confines of the page. “HA, HA, HA. A NAP? WHAT A JOKE!” laughs a hyena. Other animals assert themselves, too, until the little girl from the jacket art confronts them all and gets them to close first one eye and then another, “AND THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO IT!” she says, smiling with pride as every animal falls asleep in a veritable peaceable-kingdom tableau. The illustrations are sublime in their restraint and fearless use of ample white space, and they adopt a style that’s reminiscent of Suzy Lee’s pictures, especially in their depictions of the little girl. Perhaps the only thing that could make this title even stronger would be enhanced focus on her character, as readers might wonder why she is the one in charge of these animals and their naptime. Still, so authoritative is she, they might just try closing one eye and then the other to see if that really is all there is to it.
A lovely, if wakeful, bedtime book from France. (Picture book. 2-5)