Those monkeys just don’t want to sleep!
Snuggled in bed with his three stuffed monkeys, Sam asks his mother if he would have to go to sleep if he were a monkey. In answer, she tucks him in after reading him his favorite book—but once she leaves, his stuffed monkeys come to life and want to jump around. “They smash and bash and crash-crash-crash until all balls have been bounced and all trains have been trounced.” Mama warns him to get back in bed, and he does, but his mind teems with questions: “Do fish go to bed in their bathing suits?” Mama says she’ll answer his questions in the morning. He tries his breathing exercises, but the monkeys turn it into a “ping-pong song” and “the French ding-dong song.” Mind and monkeys still working overtime, Sam tricks the lively stuffed animals into listening to his book, and they all drift off. Choldenko’s tale of bedtime bounciness reads like something a parent might make up on the spur of the moment to quiet a restless child. Imaginative, restless tots might recognize themselves in Sam, but their imaginations are probably a bit more original and outlandish than his. Even Davis’ frenetic and funny watercolors can’t mitigate the story’s extemporaneous feel.
With bedtime-story shelves bursting, this is one that can be set aside. (Picture book. 2-5)