Chris Grabenstein Author Essay
Welcome to my very first picture book!
A few years ago, both our neighbors in our New York City apartment building had baby girls. Annalise on the right; Devin on the left. I would go to events and festivals to promote my books for upper-elementary and middle-grade readers, and come home with a stack of autographed picture books to give to my newest, tiniest neighbors. Since both girls had pretty unusual names, I started thinking that I might have to be the one to, someday, write a picture book with their names in it.
Well, one day, my wife (and coauthor of Shine!), J.J., was out walking our dog, Fred. She told me a very funny story about a girl in a stroller screaming “I don’t want to take a nap! I don’t want to take a nap!” She told the girl, “My dog loves to take naps. If you don’t want one, he’ll take it.” That inspired an elderly gentleman on a park bench to cry out, “I’ll take one of those naps, too!”
And that was the seed that grew into No More Naps! featuring Annalise Devin McFleece (neither of our neighbors are the McFleeces, but I couldn’t resist the rhyme). Imagine my delight when Random House married the brilliant (and fun) Leo Espinosa’s pictures to my text. I’ve read this book at least ten dozen
times, and I am always finding something new in his clever illustrations. For instance, if you look closely, you will find a self-portrait of our
artist, Leo, on two of the pages. And, if you look even closer, you might find an illustration of me. Hint: I did write a book called Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s LIBRARY!
Thank you so much for looking at our new book. I hope it makes you, and someone you love, very sleepy.
No More Naps! By Chris Grabenstein; illustrated by Leo Espinosa
Imagine if you could steal your toddler's nap? This picture book debut from a #1 New York Times bestselling author turns the universal dilemma of getting kids to sleep upside down!
It's time for a nap but, just like stubborn toddlers everywhere, Annalise Devin McFleece won't have anything to do with bedtime. Dad tries to encourage sleepiness by pushing her around the park in her stroller. Along the way, they pass a man sitting on a bench, dog walkers walking dogs, a boy on a skateboard, kids playing ball, a girl practicing her juggling, and others. Each of them thinks that taking a nap is a great idea and if Annalise Devin McFleece doesn't want hers, they'll happy take it. And one by one, everyone falls asleep...except Annalise Devin McFleece. But when she's finally ready for her nap, all the naps are taken! Is there anyone who has an extra nap to spare?
With every turn of the page, the busy city scene becomes more and more quiet...except for Annalise Devin McFleece.
Will she ever take a nap?