Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool
Author: Gennifer Choldenko
Illustrator: Jack E. Davis
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
The story of Putting the Monkeys to Bed is in three phases. First, a loving mother follows a bedtime routine by reading a story to her son. She kisses him goodnight and leaves the room. That is when the chaos begins. Sam and his monkeys are not ready for bed so they bounce and jump and hop and play and sing. They have so much fun that they get in trouble. Then, Sam's mind begins to race with questions—random questions that keep his curious mind reeling. Finally, Sam realizes he is tired but his monkeys keep making mischief. Considering what his mother would do, Sam pulls out his book and begins to mimic the words he had heard his mother read to him. One by one, each monkey gets lured in and everyone is able to settle down for a comfortable nights rest.
Anyone who has dealt with putting a child to bed knows how difficult it can be. Many children are masters at drawing out their bed times. The author of Putting the Monkeys to Bed has captured the antics of a young boy who just cannot or does not want to go to bed. The story appropriately takes place in Sam's bedroom. The pictures are lively and depict the events of the story in a fun and colorful way. The pages of this book are printed on sturdy paper with a good quality ink and color. The story itself does not transition smoothly, but then again, following the reasoning of a seemingly nonsensical child is not a methodical process. The best part about this book is how a young mind comes to realize that he can be in control and finds a solution to his own problem. Any child that has trouble falling asleep might enjoy reading about Sam and his monkeys and how they are able to cozily drift off to sleep.