Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Review: Shh! My Brother’s Napping
Publish May 16, 2014
Toronto author and illustrator, Ruth Ohi’s, latest picture book, Shh! My Brother’s Napping, radiates with warmth and good humour and is the perfect naptime read. Baby mouse is finally tuckered out after returning home from a shopping trip with his brother and mom. Big bro knows he’s not supposed to bother his snoozing sibling, but his best efforts at keeping quiet are thwarted by his playful exuberance. He feels remiss when a teetering tower of blocks come crashing down and wakes the baby, but he’s also happy to have his playmate back. In a humorous, circular fashion, the book ends with big brother snoring in open-mouthed slumber. Now that the naptime tables are turned, baby mouse addresses readers with a “Shh!” and a glimmer in his eye. Ohi’s comedic timing is perfect. There is wonderful interplay between the big brother’s understated, rhyming verse narration, and the cartoon illustrations that reveal his mischievous actions. Just as he is about to make music with a spatula, a wooden spoon, and a pot lid (on his brother’s head), his mother intervenes. Even supposedly silent pursuits, like painting, almost go astray when he is tempted to use his baby brother’s face as a canvas. Baby mouse is serenely sleeping in most of the scenes, oblivious to the mayhem around him. Ohi is adept at capturing nuances in expressions, like big brother’s surreptitious sideways glances. Cleverly, the siblings’ mother isn’t visually depicted in all of the illustrations, but there is no doubt she is omnipresent. Children will enjoy chiming in with her directive refrains. Naptime should always be this much fun. Shh! My Brother’s Napping by Ruth Ohi 978-1-4431-1993-1 North Winds Press/ Scholastic Canada April 2014 32 pp Ages 3 – 7 Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library. Her reviews have appeared in Quill and Quire, School Library Journal and CM: Canadian Review of Materials. When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures. The National Reading Campaign publishes children’s book reviews under a Creative Commons License. This review is entirely free to reproduce and republish online and in print. Credit must be given to the reviewer and the National Reading Campaign. Reviews can be edited for brevity only. Contact Us for more information.