Always Room?...: Boom! Boom! Boom! by Jamie A Swenson
ONE STORMY NIGHT I JUMPED INTO BED,
SAFE WITH A BOOK AND MY TEDDY BEAR FRED.
Our little bedtime boy is fine with snuggling in his comfy bed and listening to the thunderboomer pass over. But soon it seems that he's the only one who's not frightened by the storm.
FLASH! CRASH!.... "AROOOO!"
The boy's pup runs and jumps into his bed. Fine. Room for two, plus Fred!
Then there is a plaintive yowl from somewhere, and Kitty makes the transition, leaping into the now less roomy bed. Move over, Fred.
Kitty is soon followed by a guinea pig squealing "FEE FEE!" and a frog with a nervous "RIBBET!" Another flash and crash brings a parrot and a snake, squawking and hissing.
"AT LEAST YOU'RE THIN," THE BOY SAYS TO THE SNAKE.
Still, it's getting sorta snug in the boy's little bed, what with that snake coiled around them and all.
And then another boom of thunder brings...Sis, who streaks into the room and vaults right into the midst of it all ... with the inevitable results. With a creak and and a crash, the bed collapses, and all the interlopers flee, perhaps for Sis's still intact bed! Ah! Peace!
Jamie Swenson's Boom! Boom! Boom! (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013) plays with the basic premise of the old folktale, Always Room for One More, reworked with great good humor in John Burningham's Mr. Gumpy's Outing and retold most notably in Audrey and Don Woods' Caldecott-winning The Napping House. Swenson's story has less literary pizazz but does have a pleasant rhyming text which takes on the issue of storm phobia, albeit with a main character for whom the thunder and lightning are the least of his worries.