cover image A NAP IN A LAP


Sarah Wilson, , illus. by Akemi Gutierrez. . Holt, $15.95 ( , $15.95, ISBN p) ISBN 978-0-8050-6976-1

In this survey of various species' siesta spots, a pert, pigtailed girl and her dog travel from habitat to habitat, observing animals taking their midday snooze and occasionally imitating them. "It's easy to nap... sprawled upside down," writes Wilson (Big Day on the River ), as the girl replicates the dozing habits of a trio of bats. A few pages later, the girl sips a cool drink atop a camel mom, who's catching 40 winks with her snuggling offspring in the shade of a palm tree ("snoozled in sand dunes"). As for the girl herself, a nap in the lap of her mother (with a blanket assist from dad) is the best spot of all. Although the non-rhyming text at times seems in search of rhythm, for the most part it rolls off the tongue in a flurry of evocative words and phrases (a baby giraffe is "snuzzled and fuzzled and kissed on the nose"). But it's Gutierrez's (What the Elephant Told ) gouache pictures that drive the book. Combining bold shapes with confectionery colors in a style reminiscent of early 1960s animation, her work emits a beguiling sprightliness. The girl's broad, ovoid face echoes her wide, confident smile, while the animals exude an amiable quirkiness. Fun and persuasive, the book might just seduce even the most reluctant nappers. Ages 3-6. (Nov.)