The Full Moon at the Napping House by Audrey Wood and Don Wood

That The Napping House was one of the most read books in our household when my kids were littler, as well as one of the few “baby” books that both of them STILL request for occasionally, speaks volumes about the incredible enduring popularity of Audrey and Don Wood’s memorable cumulative tale.

There’s one quirk about the classic book that has always puzzled me, however: unlike almost every other sleepy-time story, the characters don’t fall asleep at the end, but are instead woken up one by one in an unforgettably dramatic, domino-effect sequence. So when we finally read this long-awaited “sequel” to The Napping House, it was as if the authors had read my mind and decided to create the perfect night-time companion to their beloved classic: a sort-of reverse Napping House with a twist.

Starring almost all the usual suspects — the granny, the child, the dog, the cat and the mouse — and set in the same iconic bluish bedroom, this time, everyone in the house has trouble sleeping, no thanks to the enormous full moon beaming into the bedroom. Thankfully, a little bug (no, not the flea!) helps to save the night — although, true to quirky form, the story still doesn’t end with everyone sound asleep.

It has been 31 years, of course, and one can’t expect everything to look exactly the same, BUT every detail is pretty darn close to the original and the characters don’t seem to have aged a day. All the ingredients that made The Napping House so successful are also present in The Full Moon at the Napping House — the arresting, detailed paintings of the characters moving around the room, the repetitive phrases and the cumulative story-telling — but the best testimony comes from the kids, who got a huge kick from seeing a different side to the characters, and have asked for this book every night since we received it. A must-read for every young and old Napping House fan!

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