The Napping House by Audrey Wood, and illustrated by husband Don Wood, is a beautiful, simplistic story of the chaos that inevitably happens to wake up a house full of napping people. We have a great “log in the hole in the bottom of the sea” type story, in which everything stacks together; we have the grandmother, then the little child, then the dog, the cat, the mouse, the flea, everyone sleeping together for several blissful moments on a rainy day when it all turns to chaos and everything tumbles down.
The story ends with everyone running around having fun as usual, and a big beautiful rainbow cresting the roof of the house; a reminder of the sun coming back out, of the renewal and refreshment of a midday nap, and a promise at the end of the book of going outside to play again. What a great way to read a child to sleep in the middle of the day! Many children hate taking naps (myself included, but now as an adult I would pay a lot of money for the opportunity to nap in the middle of the day) but this wonderful book changes the perception of napping from that of “it’s a waste of time that I could otherwise be using to have fun” to “I need to use this time to renew my energy levels so that I can have more fun later today”.
Instead of fighting with a child and forcing them to take a nap, gently changing their perception of napping from a negative to a positive view is much more relaxing, and makes for a better napping house all around.