While many children and lap readers will enjoy seeing a monkey learn the value of rest, this amusing tale of tired friends...

Putting Bungee to Bed

In this debut picture book, making a boy responsible for someone else’s sleep encourages him to respect bedtime.

Dark-haired Ben and his only slightly smaller, prehensile-tailed monkey, Bungee, are best friends. “They liked to do everything together,” including draw pictures, build block towers, and eat pancakes (debut illustrator Neptune shows their differences in taste as Bungee scarfs down his banana-laden breakfast and Ben carefully measures fruit and syrup atop his stack). But what the two love best of all is bouncing. Ben feels tired after a long day of bouncing, but Bungee is still full of energy. When the monkey won’t let Ben get a good night’s sleep, the boy wakes up feeling miserable. The two friends become increasingly irritable and get into more and more arguments. Ben thinks of ways to keep Bungee from bouncing at night and finally creates rules they both must follow. That night, when Bungee tries to bounce again, Ben reminds him of the regulations and takes him back to his own bed—but the monkey keeps trying. It’s an arduous process, but finally, Bungee and Ben get enough worthwhile sleep that they can happily bounce together again. Neptune’s evocative, child-friendly images are filled to the brim with emotion, whether it’s elated bouncing or passionate arguing. Her added details to the story flesh out the spare text and provide plenty of extra laughs for young readers. Family sleep expert Carr (Make Life Better for Seniors, 2013) keeps the words simple and uses bubbles to have the characters convey more difficult ideas. She has deftly mastered the vocabulary and pacing needed for this reading level. In the book design, the larger text size for certain words (“BUNGEE!” “COWABUNGA!”) delightfully emphasizes them in a play for both humor and effect. While this strategy may not work for every kid, the rules Ben devises should be useful for parents of stay-awake children, who can pretend that one of their stuffed animals is a Bungee-like companion.

While many children and lap readers will enjoy seeing a monkey learn the value of rest, this amusing tale of tired friends should aid parents in discussing the importance of sleep.

Pub Date: June 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-578-17607-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Off to Dreamland

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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