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Lauri Desir

Lauri Desir

Author: Jan Brett

Title: "The Snowy Nap"

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons

Come for the art, stay for the story. Jan Brett’s amazing talent is showcased with her realistic artwork and heartwarming tale in "The Snowy Nap." Author and illustrator of the bestselling modern classic, "The Mitten," is at it again with another children’s story about two things near and dear to all North Dakotans: snow and animals.

When you look at the hedgehog on the cover, you almost feel you could reach out and pet him. This winter story is a prequel to her gorgeous book, "The Hat" and features the same beloved characters of Hedgie the Hedgehog and his friend Lisa. The story opens with Hedgie preparing to hibernate for the winter but is tempted by hearing tales from his animal friend of all the fun he’ll miss if he takes his long nap.

“I don’t want to sleep all winter like last year," protested Hedgie. “I want to see icicles and snowmen, snowflakes and pond ice. I want to hear sleigh bells.”

Little Hedgie was able to successfully fight off sleep while he was able to relish in the sights of winter from inside Lisa’s house. Finally (like the little ones with whom you may be reading the bedtime book) he couldn’t resist his yawns anymore and nodded off to sleep.

This picture book is geared to third-grade reading level due to some of the more advanced and creative vocabulary that Brett uses to keep in theme with her Danish setting. Be careful not to flip through the pages too quickly because if you are of Scandinavian background, you will feel as though you’ve stepped into your grandma’s home when you notice the details of the Danish cottage. Also, take note of the smaller drawings in the side margins which are almost like a second layer story.

Brett has written more than 35 books for children and is traveling on a bus tour and will be at Barnes and Nobel in Bismarck at 5 p.m. Wednesday. If you are able to come, make sure you spot her bus with the amazing illustration of Hedgie covering the sides.

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Lauri Desir, a Bismarck resident, is a former school librarian and collects children's bedtime books.