cover image Can I Just Take a Nap?

Can I Just Take a Nap?

Ron Rauss, illus. by Rob Shepperson. Simon & Schuster, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-3497-4

Rauss, winner of the 2010 Cheerios New Author Contest, debuts with a chirpy rhyming story of a boy with one thing on his mind: sleep. Unluckily, the world is one noisy place: “There were radios blaring and cars that would beep./ Aiden McDoodle just wanted some sleep./ He tried closing the doors, he tried covering his head./ He tried upstairs and downstairs, he tried under the bed.” Joined by his mother and energetic sister, Aiden visits places like the library and park, dragging along his blanket and pillow, but can’t find a quiet spot. Finally, Aiden loses his patience and shouts for the world to pipe down: “He had yelled it so loudly, it was heard sea to sea,/ from the deepest of valleys to the tallest of trees.” In somewhat static compositions that don’t do much to play up a sense of cacophony, Shepperson depicts a bustling neighborhood filled with baseball-playing kids, musicians, and an ice cream truck making its rounds. Although Rauss doesn’t offer an explanation for Aiden’s extreme fatigue, readers will grasp the implication that everyone needs an occasional time-out. Ages 3–up. (June)