Anyone out there know/have children who dig in their heels at the thought of interrupting their day with a nap? This book should become part of your persuasive repertoire:
Notice the front end paper:
the wail that continues across the title page (not shown) and on to the first spread:
Annalise Devine McFleece did not want to take a nap.
Annalise has a set of lungs, as they say.
She would fuss.
She would fume.
She would scream.
She would SHRIEK
But she would not ever—no NEVER—
take a nap.
(Do you know anyone like that?)
Oh that face! And the perfect type size and font for that SHRIEK!
We’ve been there. The child you’re reading to has been there, and they can appreciate and empathize completely.
And the breaking of the fourth wall with the question to the reader will surely bring a smile.
Annalise Devin McFleece’s father does what every desperate parent in the world has tried: he straps her in the stroller and heads our for a spin in the park. Does Annalise fall asleep to the rumble of wheels and the fresh air? Of course not.
Instead, she and her father meet people in the park who want to take her nap, since it’s clear she doesn’t want it. One by one, people drop off to sleep in the midst of whatever they were doing. In some cases, they sleepwalk through their tasks. Everyone is falling asleep—
except Annalise. Her father even falls sleep while pushing the stroller. Everyone is snoozling. (LOVE that word!)
And Annalise? Well, those eyes are finally at half mast. She stretches and yawns, now that she has nothing to do and
No one to play with.
No one to fuss, fume, scream, or shriek at.
She is getting very very v-e-r-y sleepy. I love the close-up perspective that the illustrator chose for this spread. The reader is right there with Annalise as her eyelids grow heavy.
But does she fall asleep? Well, you’ll have to get a copy of the book to find out.
I’m thinking we may be seeing more of Annalise Devin McFleece sometime down the road. Kids will love poring over the details in illustrations that add a whole level of absurdity to this tale of one cranky toddler. The end papers as an extension of the book, and the use of the extended wail that bleeds from page to page are inspired artistic elements that add to the reading experience.
Pair this book with Little Night by Yuyi Morales
Make a spyglass, and find people from different occupations, animals or objects (traffic cone, jackhammer, cake, squirrel, butterfly, hats, newspaper, pigeon, dog, ice cream cone, balloon, baseball mitt, fish, etc.) depicted in the book.
Make a sleepy origami cat
Title: No More Naps!
Author: Chris Grabenstein
Illustrator: Leo Espinosa
Publisher: Random House, 2020
Themes: Nap time, tantrums
For more perfect picture book recommendations, please visit Susanna Hill’s blog.