If the bed won’t break with a bison bouncing on it, surely a few smaller animals won’t do any harm…will they?
“The bed starts to BEND. / The bed starts to SHAKE. / I really hope the bed won’t BREAK!” And it doesn’t—not even when first Aardvark and then Chipmunk climb aboard. But when Beetle bounds in, bedroom disaster ensues. This is followed by a round of finger-pointing that ends when a previously hidden grizzly bear rises from under the coverlet to blame all four and send them scurrying to make repairs. Though Bright gives the bearish climax a big buildup, Chatterton opts to present the grizzly in the cartoon illustrations in thoroughly unscary pajamas, bearing a tiny teddy bear and just a mildly irritated expression. And, when the bed’s fixed, the bear’s small frown suddenly changes to a grin as he invites one and all to join him in a fresh round of bouncy “FUN!” Bright genders the grizzly as male, but aside from stereotypical pink bow and eyelashes on Beetle, there are no other gender markers in the book.
Bland fare for bed jumpers, but the point about shared responsibility is a good one to make—blunted though it is by the ending. (Picture book. 4-6)