Up All Night!: Simpson's Sheep Won't Go to Sleep by Bruce Arant
FARMER SIMPSON WORKS ALL DAY.
HE PLANTS HIS CORN AND BEANS AND HAY.
EACH NIGHT BEFORE HE GETS HIS REST,
THE FARMER TRIES HIS VERY BEST
TO GATHER UP HIS FLOCK OF SHEEP
AND TELL THEM THAT IT'S TIME TO SLEEP.
The good farmer's call for lights out works just fine with the rest of the barnyard. Ducks quack softly and hens cluck quietly and then they are off to dreamland. Ditto for the cows and pigs. But the sheep, those folkloric icons of dreamland? They are a different story. There's no rest for the weary with this fretful flock.
THEY ALL HAVE EXCUSES WHY THEY CAN'T LIE DOWN, OR EVEN TRY.
THEY NEED A DRINK, THEY WANT A SNACK. THEY HAVE TO "GO," THEY LIKE TO YAK.
The sheep grumble and toss and turn. Their pasture grass is too wet, the ground is hard and lumpy, something doesn't smell so good! On and on and on. Farmer Simpson can't catch his forty winks because of his wakeful sheep's constant complaints. He staggers through his daytime chores, eyes half closed, and it's the same story every night.
But then, when he drags himself to town to get a birthday gift for his good wife, he sees something that just may solve his insomniac sheep problem. Soft fuzzy blankets--on sale! Anything for a good night's sleep, Simpson figures, and he brings the blankies home.
And it works--for "each cuddly lamb ... and ewe and ram."
How Farmer Simpson pulls the wool over his sheep's eyes at last is the rhyming plot of Bruce Arant's new sheepy-time tale, Simpson's Sheep Won't Go To Sleep! (Peter Pauper Press, 2013). Arant's verses are as lively as his wide-awake flock, and the contrast of the sheep with their wide-eyed insomnia and the droopy-lidded farmer tell the tale with great good humor. School Library Journal says "Parents will sympathize with Farmer Simpson, and children will totally understand where the sheep are coming from. Great fun for everyone!"