Putting the Monkeys to Bed

illus. by Jack E. Davis. 32p. Putnam. Jun. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399246234; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780698408548.
PreS-Gr 2—Sam is a curious boy, whose mother has tucked him in for the night, yet he can't help but wonder about how and where other people and creatures sleep. As he yells for his mother to ask more questions, his toy monkeys come to life and cause a ruckus. Sam tries his best to quiet his mind and go to sleep, even doing some breathing exercises. Yet, it is only when he pulls out a bedtime story that he is able to calm himself and the monkeys and drift off to slumber. Choldenko's story is funny, if at times potentially confusing, though perfectly capturing Sam's wandering mind. The illustrations are fun, with bold movement lines indicating a chaotic and hectic bedtime frenzy, and monkeys that just won't quit. The speech bubbles between Sam and his mother come in big, comic book-style bursts, adding humor.
VERDICT This lovely story about the power of books to help calm and focus would make a fun bedtime story for lots of families.

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