BooksForKidsBlog

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Lights Out! Sweet Dreams!:" Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed by Eileen Christelow

"IT'S BEDTIME FOR MONKEYS! NOW TURN OUT THE LIGHT."
"OH, MAMA! OH, PLEASE! ONE MORE STORY TONIGHT!"

BUT MAMA'S TOO TIRED. SHE'S READ MORE THAN FOUR.
"LIGHTS OUT! SWEET DREAMS!" SHE CLOSES THE DOOR.

But there are lots of irresistible books left behind:

"IF MAMA WON'T READ IT, THEN MAYBE WE COULD!"

Five little monkeys take turns reading Where's That Puppy? First they weep and then they celebrate when the little lost puppy is found, bringing a grouchy Mama back to the door with a curt reminder: "What was it I said? No more reading in bed." But a scary ghost story beckons, and the monkeys can't resist making ghostly sounds to go along with the story, until something REALLY SCARY appears. It's MAMA, wearing bathrobe and slippers and a weary frown, and giving them a stronger still warning. But as the door closes firmly behind her retreating figure, one little monkey whispers:

"THAT STORY WAS SO CREEPY, I'LL NEVER BE SLEEPY."

And she has the perfect antidote to a ghost tale--a joke book. Soon the five little monkeys are trying vainly to stifle their snickers at the silliness until their giggles become a roar:

AND THEN CAN YOU GUESS WHO FLINGS OPEN THEIR DOOR?

Mama means business this time and to prove it she confiscates all their books and stomps out the door. But now he five little monkeys are too sleepy to protest and soon they are about to drift into dreamland at last when the sounds of weeping and then giggling from down the hall rouse them again. Of course, we can all guess who's reading in bed this time, and the five little monkeys finally get their turn to deliver that now famous line to Mama.

"OH, MAMA, WHAT WAS IT YOU SAID?
LIGHTS OUT! SWEET DREAMS! NO MORE READING IN BED!"

Eileen Christelow's storytime simian siblings are at the top of their game in this eighth installment in her best-selling Five Little Monkeys series, the forthcoming Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed (Clarion, 2011), a must-have bedtime story starring those irrepressible little monkeys. Christelow's trademark blackline and water-colored illustrations are exuberant, each of the five with a different expression and body language which provide lots of visual fun to fit with her fine versification. A not-to-be-missed story that puts in a plug for independent reading-- with even Mama unable to resist a good nighty-night tale and a promise that "tomorrow...we'll read more." To open and close the fun, Christelow's front endpapers feature the little monkeys reading everywhere--from the potty to the backyard swing--while her closing endpapers set the pace for snooze time with five snoring little ones surrounded by stars. A perfectly realized picture book!

Kirkus Reviews also gives this one a thumbs-up: "Christelow's silly simians are just as bouncy as they ever were.... Reading promotion at its best, with a little bit of bad behavior to spice things up!"


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