I Will Take a Nap! by Mo Willems is part of the Elephant and Piggie collection. This book tells the story of a cranky Elephant who goes to take a nap. He is soon joined by Piggie who wants to take a nap with him. Willems simple characters convey lots of emotion though their facial expressions (eyes, mouth, etc.). In addition to this on some pages he uses additional elements to convey emotion, such as a soft glow used to represent the warmth of friendship when Piggie joins him.
Willems also does a great job of using the typography to give the readers clues as to how they should read the text aloud. He uses smaller descending words to demonstrate Piggie falling into a deeper quieter sleep, contrasting this with colorful large typography for his loud snoring outbursts.
Soon it is revealed that all of this snoring nonsense occurred in Elephant’s dream when Piggie begins to float.
Elephant then begins to hallucinate images of Piggie with a turnip head. It is clear at this point that this could not be happening in real life, but if readers look carefully they can notice that there were clues that this was a dream from the beginning. When Piggie was first introduced he was in a thought bubble that was a light shade of green. All of the pages that are this light green shade are part of the dream, which contrast with the real world scenes which contain white backgrounds. This book could also be a good tool to teach children about the difference between a thought bubble and a speech bubble.
In the end, when Elephant sees Piggie in the real world he calls him “turnip head” and Piggie is confused. Children find this particularly funny because they feel like they are “in on” the joke with Elephant that Piggie does not understand. Overall I would recommend this book because it teaches kids about reading with emotion. Also the way Willems uses speech bubbles makes the reader feel like the characters are talking directly at them which makes them feel like they are a part of the story, keeping them both engaged and excited about the text.