Every kind of bird and beast has to sleep, from the monkeys in the jungle to the whales in the ocean to the ants under the ground. But not Fred. His to-do list is far too long! Armed with plenty of imagination, this determined little boy and his attempts to resist bedtime are sure to strike a chord with today's over scheduled families. Drowsy animals of all stripes look on in disbelief as Fred keeps on going and going and going, until . . . Could it be that, after so much activity, even Fred needs to rest? Shhh. Close the book softly, and please let Fred sleep.
A boy named Fred is too busy to fall asleep in this bedtime-book send-up from the always hilarious Schneider (Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover). In ironic lilting verse, Schneider describes one somnolent scene after another as birds and beasts call it a night ("In the jungle, toucans snooze./ Also sloths and cockatoos./ Ignoring snoring striped hyenas,/ monkeys dream they're ballerinas"). "But not Fred. Fred had important jumping to do," he continues as the boy sails over the heads of grimacing, tutu-clad monkeys. Fred disrupts slumbering barnyard animals by "breaking the world shouting record" (he's seen performing on a speakers-laden stage fit for a Kiss concert), and sea creatures get a rude awakening when Fred arrives on the S.S. Insomnia to test his tubas and alpenhorns. From visual gags like jellyfish in sleep masks (Do they even have eyes?) to verse mocking soporific picture-book rhymes ("Sleepy bunnies blah blah blah/ Fluffy tummies blah blah blah"), it's a pitch-perfect parody. Sorry, parents: kids will be too busy laughing to get sleepy reading this one. Ages 4 8.