The Boy of the Three-Year Nap


Lazy Taro gets his comeuppance. "The pictures, handsome in every respect, are done in Japanese style, and complement a well-crafted story." -- Booklist, starred review

A poor Japanese woman maneuvers events to change the lazy habits of her son.

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Lazy Taro gets his comeuppance. "The pictures, handsome in every respect, are done in Japanese style, and complement a well-crafted story." -- Booklist, starred review

A poor Japanese woman maneuvers events to change the lazy habits of her son.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Taro is a Japanese boy whose penchant for sleeping is the butt of village jokes, much to the chagrin of his poor widowed mother, who works hard to provide them with necessities. Taro cannot be coaxed into working, despite his mother's pleas, until he falls in love with a rich merchant's daughter and hatches a scheme to make himself wealthy. The author's foreword explains that many gods and demons inhabit Japanese folklore, which will help readers understand how Taro, disguised as a local deity, is able to convince the rich neighbor that his daughter must wed the laziest boy in town. Say's art, with stylized Oriental touches, comically animates the sprightly tale, perfectly matching the abundant wit of Snyder's adaptation. All ages. (April)
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
This humorous Japanese folktale follows a young man "as lazy as a rich man's cat." While he's snoozing, though, the quick-witted mother hatches a plan that gains him wife, job-and very limited nap time. I recently gave this book to my husband, who chuckles each time he reads it.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-6 The accuracy of the visualized Japanese landscape and architecture help considerably in casting this retold folktale into an Oriental mold. A very industrious widow watches her very lazy teenage son (whose nickname is the title of the book) grow up. And readers watch her watching him in tightly crafted scenes that are some what reminiscent of 17th- or 18th-Cen tury Japanese woodcuts: fishing boats on the river; bamboo-windowed houses; blue-mountained backdrops with birds in V-formation; etc. Smoothly applied paint (seemingly air brushed at times) depict the peaceful Japanese landscape. The costuming and facial gestures, as the boy tricks a rich neighbor into rebuilding his moth er's house and allowing him to marry his daughter, create a dramatic effect. There is a sense of authenticity to the pictures that informs readers about a particular lifestyle while simultaneous ly entertaining them with an engaging, almost universal trickster tale. Ken neth Marantz, Art Education Depart ment, Ohio State University, Colum bus
From the Publisher
"The pictures, handsome in every respect, are done in Japanese style, and complement a well-crafted story." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395669570
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/28/1993
  • Series: Caldecott Honor Bks.
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 204,702
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.31 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Allen Say was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1937. He dreamed of becoming a cartoonist from the age of six, and, at age twelve, apprenticed himself to his favorite cartoonist, Noro Shinpei. For the next four years, Say learned to draw and paint under the direction of Noro, who has remained Say's mentor. Say illustrated his first children's book—published in 1972—in a photo studio between shooting assignments. For years, Say continued writing and illustrating children's books on a part-time basis. But in 1987, while illustrating THE BOY OF THE THREE-YEAR NAP (Caldecott Honor Medal), he recaptured the joy he had known as a boy working in his master's studio. It was then that Say decided to make a full commitment to doing what he loves best: writing and illustrating children's books. Since then, he has written and illustrated many books, including TREE OF CRANES and GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY, winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal. He is a full-time writer and illustrator living in Portland, Oregon.

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