The Napping House–Amy

The Napping House is a bedtime story that I was read when I was a child. It is about a family who is taking a nap on a rainy day that are awakened by an unexpected visitor, a flea. The Napping House explains who all is sleeping in the house and how each personal sounds when they sleep. For example, the granny is snoring, the child is dreaming, etc.  With the turn of every page, someone new is added to the bed that is sleeping, until a flea starts the chain of waking up everyone. The book has soothing rhymes that are meant to help children relax and fall asleep.  The pictures in the book look like they are watercolors and the tones of the colors used are mostly blues and soft which adds to the book’s soothing nature. I think this is a good book for much younger children. The story line is simple, the wording in the book is rhythmic and easy to understand, and the book is very short which is better for the younger children who have a shorter attention span. The book is definitely grasping more of the enlightenment ideals when it comes to the content and material that children should be reading. There are no underlying political themes, violence, or reference to sexuality in the book and overall it’s a sweet story about a grandmother, a boy, and their pets taking a nap. I prefer the way this book is written and if I had a young child I would read this to them as a bed time story. I am fond of the books and TV shows that do not have any underlying modern world issues that are meant to be subtly taught to children.  I liked in Gray’s poem where he said,

“Ah happy hills, ah pleasing shade,
Ah fields beloved in vain,
Where once my careless childhood strayed,
A stranger yet to pain!”

I feel like this is the way I think about children, as if they are strangers to the pain of the world who are able to run around and enjoy the simple things that haven’t been tainted by reality yet. From personal experience, when I was a child I was very afraid of a lot of TV shows and movies that were not meant to be scary to kids. This made me think of Strasburger’s topic of cognitive development and how each child develops differently and how their personalities vary as well. This is idea that some children can develop behind others gives us more reason to make sure that books are age appropriate. It would be better to have books that were too conservative for the children who develop faster than to expose children to material that they are all not yet ready for. I feel that, especially with younger children, their books and TV shows should be simple, funny, and educational in the sense that they learn how to share, be kind to others, and figure out what objects are. I liked where Kant talked about children learning from examples rather than from rules.  I feel like with the way the media is today the examples that children go by are the ones that they learn through watching television, video games, and reading which is why I feel that those things should be monitored. If they are able to view their examples from a monitored view, there is not necessarily a set of rules they are given but, they are only exposed to the good examples.

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One thought on “The Napping House–Amy

  1. Amy,

    I appreciate your desire to preserve childhood innocence, especially in light of our discussions on Thursdays that focused on ways to erase this.

    I would have liked to see more critical analyses into the story line. It is easy to dismiss the ‘simplicity’ of picture books and overlook some really interesting questions they might be trying to raise. For example: Why might the weather have such a dramatic affect over all the characters? Why is the flea immune to this seasonal drowsiness? Why does this little parasite disrupt the entire family dynamic? Who brought the flea in? Should the dog sleep outside or should the family sacrifice their comfort to keep him in their communion?

    These questions may seem silly but sometimes the best books are defined by the questions they ask, not the ones they answer.

    Of course, none of this was a requirement for the assignment. You demonstrated a good understanding of the class readings and explored them in a way that coincided with your book in a good way.

    Grade: “S”

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