BooksForKidsBlog

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Shuteye Shortfall! Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred) by Josh Schneider

IN THE JUNGLE, TOUCANS SNOOZE.
ALSO SLOTHS AND COCKATOOS.
IGNORING SNORING STRIPED HYENAS,
MONKIES DREAM THEY'RE BALLERINAS.

BUT NOT FRED.

As pajama-clad Fred brushes his teeth, his bulldog clambers into his bed, and his cat laps through his last wash-up. On his nightstand his ants snooze in their farm. On his bed a toy monkey, monster, and monkey hog Fred's pillow and his plush sheep is dozing, supine, feet in air.

But Fred's a lad who has a long to-do list, one that requires night-time overtime. While his beddy-bye pals get their ZZZs, Fred is loading up his sleepy-time scow, the USS Insomniac, with a bunch of brass band instruments for its nocturnal voyage.

In the jungle, cockatoos snooze on toucan's bills, the sloth seems to be sleeping (but how can you tell?), and somnolent monkeys dream of ballet in their tutus.

Not Fred, though. He practices leaping while the monkeys hoot at his jete'.

Down on the farm stinky hogs snore in rows and the sheep sleep, except for one count-keeping bookkeeper who schleps his antique adding machine to the sheep stall. One toucan seems to have nested with the hens, and a bit of tutu is in sight among the pig pile--until Fred blasts the barn to break the world shouting record.

At sea whales and jellyfish are asleep in the deep and ballet monkey, pig, toucan and sheep snooze in a rubber raft until the USS Insomnia steams into sight. Fred opens his act with the Alpen horn and blasts everyone awake.

Fred moves on.

SCARY THINGS THAT LURK AND SLINK

STOP ALL THAT FOR FORTY WINKS,

LIKE OTHER CREATURES NOT HERE LISTED--

MONSTERS, TOO (IF THEY EXISTED).

But Fred is still up and at 'em, inspecting the monster dormitory for the illusive Sasquatch.

Not even the most soporific of poetry books puts Fred out for the count, even though those farm hens are roosting on the headboard of the bed and one of the ballerina monkeys is sacked out underneath. But where is Fred? Has he succumbed at last to the siren call of sleep?

PLEASE, FOR NOW DON'T MAKE A PEEP.

JUST CLOSE THE BOOK AND LET FRED SLEEP.

Editor's Warning: Although the Library of Congress has classifed Josh Schneider's Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred) (HMH Clarion Books, 2015) as a "bedtime" book, it's not an instant snooze inducer. Youngsters will be too busy perusing and pointing out funny stuff on each page to zip through this one before calling lights out. Theodor Seuss Geisel award-winner Scheider's rhyming couplets have their own linguistic humor, but his pages are packed with visual jokes for the sharp-eyed, wide-awake reader. Monkey ballet slippers have an opening for that pedal thumb, the accountant sheep wears a green eyeshade, and the smelly hogs' stalls have hooks for their little fir-tree air fresheners to hang on their tails. Jellyfish wear sleeping masks, a stray toucan keeps a low profile hanging upside down along with the monster bats, and Sasquatch's Bigfoot shoes give away his bunk. There are lots of giggles hiding in plain sight among Schneider's jolly ink-and-watercolor illustrations that will keep pages turning backward and forward until readers quietly close the book to keep Fred asleep!

Pair this one with Doreen Cronin's recent bedtime hit, Click, Clack, Peep! (Read review here.)

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