Downfall! No Jumping on the Bed by Tedd Arnold
IN HIS ROOM ON THE TOP FLOOR OF A TALL APARTMENT BUILDING, WALTER WAS GETTING READY FOR BED.
HIS FATHER SAID, "IF I'VE TOLD YOU ONCE, I TOLD YOU A MILLION TIMES:
NO JUMPING ON THE BED.
SOMEDAY IT'S GOING TO CRASH RIGHT THROUGH THE FLOOR!"
HMMMPPHH! An order like that is practically a dare to a mischievous little boy, and when Walter hears thumps from upstairs, he knows it's his friend Delbert, jumping on his bed.
"IF DELBERT CAN JUMP ON HIS BED, SO CAN I!"
But Walter has pushed his luck once too often. It seems that Dad was right!
With an horrendous crack, Walter finds himself and his broken bed crashing through the floor, right into Miss Hattie's spaghetti. In a wild domino effect, the impact sends Walter and the astonished Miss Hattie, meatballs and all, through the floor and the ceiling of the Mr. Matty, watching TV, and in an ever-increasing calamity, the three go into freefall into Aunt Batty and Fatty Cat's cozy evening, Mr. Hanratty's painting project, and on top of Maestro Ferlinghatti's string quartet rehearsal.
His eyes closed in horror, Walter falls down into the sub-basement of the building, when...
HE LANDED ON SOMETHING SOFT.
HE OPENED HIS EYES. EVERYTHING WAS IN PLACE.
"WHEW!" THOUGHT WALTER.
Safe in his own intact bed, Walter settles back down for what he hopes is an uninterrupted, dreamless sleep this time, when suddenly he hears an ominous CREAK from the room above his, where Delbert, it seems, is still jumping on his bed.
In this re-illustrated 25th anniversary edition of Tedd Arnold's first book and first runaway hit, No Jumping on the Bed 25th Anniversary Edition (Dial Books, 2012), there's still a surprise ending to this cumulative cautionary tale about a fantastical bedtime adventure. It seems Delbert gets both his comeuppance and well-deserved downfall in this totally rib-tickling tale that has always been a guaranteed read-aloud killer diller, especially with little boys. I'll leave it to you to decide whether you prefer Arnold's new remix, with more exaggerated cartoon-style, digitally colorized illustrations, to those in his classic 1987 version, but the story remains solid bedtime or storytime fare full of chuckles and visual humor for primary readers.