Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Animal Naps

Animal Naps

Catherine Ham
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Early Light Books, 2011   ISBN: 978-0983201410

There is something incredibly appealing about a sleeping animal, even an animal that is normally considered scary. At that moment, with their eyes closed, they are vulnerable and even cute. At that moment we can admire them (or gawp at them) knowing that they are not going to run, fly, or slither off.

In this wonderful book the author pairs beautiful photos of sleeping animals with poems, giving us a unique frozen moment in time to look at all kinds of animals when they are dozing, snoozing, and napping.

She begins with a trio of shar pei puppies that are piled up, their wrinkly skin loose and rippled, their eyes scrunched shut. She asks us if we think that “maybe they’re dreaming / of growing to fit into their skin.”

Next there is a fox and we learn from the poem that foxes on their own don’t sleep in a den. As far as the lone fox is concerned “Almost any place will do.” The fox settles down on the ground and drops off after it has wrapped its “warm tail around his face.”

Koalas are a little more particular about where they sleep. They tend to prefer a fork in a tree that offers them a secure place to nap, which they do for many hours every day.

Sloths also sleep in trees, which is not surprising as they rarely come down to the ground. These strange animals favor sleeping upside down. The author wonders if we should “give that a try, you and me?”

In all, the author of this book gives us twenty-four animal portraits to enjoy. In many of the poems she provides readers with information about the featured animal, telling us about their habits, what they eat, where they live and more. The poetry forms she uses vary greatly, and readers will be delighted at the touches of humor that can be found in many of the verses.