The Full Moon at the Napping House

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
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A rhythmic, snappy charmer of a bedtime book.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Though the story's simple, Wood weaves in fun and interesting stretch vocabulary, such as "restless," "prowling," and "fidgety." The art models reading; the granny keeps a book by her bed, and Granny and grandson wind down by reading together.

Positive Messages

Reading at bedtime is good. You can help soothe others when they're restless and fidgety.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Each of the characters helps soothe the next; the cat "gentles" the dog, the dog snuggles the boy. The granny keeps a book by her bed, and she and her grandson read together to wind down.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Full Moon at the Napping House, by Audrey Wood and illustrated by Don Wood, is a sequel to their classic The Napping House. Both are crowd-pleasing, cumulative tales in the style of The House That Jack Built. In this story, because the full moon's shining in the window at bedtime, everyone feels restless. The text is smart and taut, and the art is antic -- until the characters begin, one by one, to snuggle in and calm down. A very satisfying addition to the bedtime canon.

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What's the story?

It's a full-moon night, and the light shining in the window makes everyone restless. So how are they to sleep? The story is cumulative, adding each character -- the sleepless granny, the playful dog, the fidgety boy -- and the art adds to the action, with the cat leaping at a mouse and the dog bounding after a ball. Finally, a cricket chirping "a full moon song" starts a domino effect. It "soothes the mouse, who calms the cat, who gentles the dog, who snuggles the boy, who hugs the granny, in the dreamy bed."

Is it any good?

Picture-book veterans Audrey and Don Wood follow up their classic In the Napping House with this charmer of a sequel, perfect for helping fidgety kids wind down at bedtime. The text is smart and savvy; it's rhythmic and cumulative a la The House That Jack Built, which makes for a fun, kid-pleasing, and highly engaging read. The art is antic, nicely complimenting the restless characters in the text, and its moonlit, nighttime palette contributes to the overall soothing feel. On the last page, Granny and grandson are pictured cuddled up reading in the buttery light cast from the window, perhaps mirroring the reader's own bedtime ritual.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sleeping. Do you ever feel restless when you get into bed? What soothes you? Does reading at bedtime help?

  • Families also can talk about the cumulative structure of the story. Do you know the story The House That Jack Built? How is this story similar? How is it different?

  • Why do you think the author slows the text down once the characters calm down?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture and bedtime books

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