This is a picture book probably published between 1988 and 1995 set in the distant past about a young Chinese monk who lives at a library in rural China. He’s always sleeping in, and one day the monastery needs to relocate because of a disaster (flood? war?). He sleeps in that day, too, and he and his donkey of books set out late in the day to try to catch up.
That night, he takes shelter in a cave where there are two old men playing chess with white and red pieces. They feed him and the monk stays up to watch their game. He falls asleep, and when he wakes up he’s been transported many years in the future.
He leaves the cave and soon comes across a huge battlefield with soldiers in white and red. Somehow, his arrival and the books he carries stops the battle. At the conclusion, he’s grown up to head a monastery-library of his own… and he always wakes up early.