From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1—"Unless I can sleep with my parents," says Jake, "I won't close my eyes, and I won't go to bed!" Night after night, his parents resist, then relent. Sleeplessness ensues until mother and father come up with a plan—"We'll sleep with you, son, just not in our bed./Is there some other place we could try out instead?" The sleeping venues he suggests include a steep roof, the staircase, the bathtub, the kitchen counter, three garbage cans, and the family car. Wakeful Jake decides none of these will do as well as his own bed into which he finally tumbles, exhausted. And the moral of the story is: "it's not always fun/to have kids sleep with parents/night after night./But every once in awhile?/Well, that's quite all right." Pleasantly rhyming text is paired with droll, stylized full- and double-page illustrations in bold colors and varying perspectives, and sight gags extend the fun for children and adults. Mom's bedside reading is Passions Harvest
; Jake's dog, which appears in every spread, is loyal to the point of hanging onto the edge of the roof by his front paws; and the boy's wide-eyed teddy bear stays clutched in Jake's hand until the very end, when he serves as a sleep mask for the pooch. Endpapers of floating sheep echo the pattern on Jake's pajamas and subtly suggest an alternative method of falling asleep. All in all, a delicious treat of a bedtime book.—Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
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Pointedly addressed to children who prefer the parental bed to their own, this rhymed chronicle of a restless night has Mom, Dad, and young Jake trying out the roof, the bathtub, trash cans, and other venues in search of an alternative both comfortable and roomy enough for three. Ultimately, Jake comes around to realizing that his own bed isn't so bad. As Wright unconvincingly puts it: "His parents are happy again / with their son, / and everyone's realized / it's not always fun / to have kids sleep with parents / night after night. / But once in a while? / Well, that's quite all right." The illustrations, done in a distinctive cartoon style, feature aerial or skewed perspectives and figures with chinless, thumb-shaped heads; except for his height, Jake looks grown upwhich adds another layer of humor, intended or otherwise, to the episode. Peters, John