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. Snyder's art, with stylized Oriental touches, comically animates the sprightly tale, perfectly matching the abundant wit of Snyder's adaptation. Recommended for ages 4 to 8. A 1989 Caldecott Honor book.