It's late, and Stella can't fall asleep. Her mind is filled with fearful horrors from ""vampire bites"" on her neck to ""falling out"" eyeballs. Her father, employing a little reverse psychology, says he's tired and has decided not to wait up for his wife to return home. He asks Stella if she will wait up instead, since she can't sleep anyway. Stella readily agrees. She passes the time by dressing up for a ball, getting her dolls ready for the movies, and telling scary stories to her teddy bears. But the hour is late, and not one of her dolls is willing to play. The only sound in the silent house is that of Cheeko the hamster zooming around in his cage. Finally, out of sheer exhaustion, Stella falls asleep. The father's patience in the face of Stella's insomnia is admirable, but he never offers answers to all the ""what if' questions that hinder Stella's sleep. What is to stop Stella or the young reader from carrying on like this every night? McMullan's (Nutcracker Noel, 1993, etc.) shallow story and Clark's almost affectless artwork will ensure that readers don't share Stella's insomnia.