Iris de Moüy, trans. from the French by Shelley Tanaka. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $16.95 (28p) ISBN 978-1-55498-487-9
In French author-illustrator de Moüy’s English-language debut, 13 jungle animals insist, in turn, that they are unequivocally uninterested in taking a nap. Set against rough suggestions of foliage, ground, and trees, de Moüy’s loose portraits of each animal are extremely emotive—and what these animals are emoting is barely disguised contempt for the mere suggestion that they need naps. “I don’t want to have a nap,” insists a zebra, glaring at readers. “Naps are for little babies,” says an alligator. “Tiny little babies,” a hippo agrees from a watering hole, both animals’ eyebrows slanted to convey intense irritation. An elephant is “too big” for a nap, a giraffe “too tall,” and a monkey “too busy” with its banana. This cavalcade of disapproval and huffiness is uproarious (and spot-on in its good-natured mimicry of human nappers’ complaints), but the kicker comes in the final pages as a human girl persuades the entire group to “just close one eye... then close the other eye... and that’s all there is to it!” Whether children follow suit is beside the point—the story is a flat-out delight. Ages 2–5. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/25/2014
Release date: 10/01/2014
Genre: Children's
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