Reviews /

Monkey Bedtime

Authored by Alex English
Illustrated by Pauline Gregory
Published by Faber and Faber

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Monkey Bedtime is a funny rhyming story brimming with mischief and surprise. The story begins at night and it is time to get ready to go to bed. A little pygmy marmoset appears in the window and the protagonist has to decide whether to let him in. It’s dark, raining and surely very cold, what is the worse that could happen? Unfortunately, the pygmy marmoset has not travelled alone and very soon the house is being taken over by a whole host of different monkeys! Banana skins are being flung everywhere, someone is slurping the ice cream and the bathroom has turned into bubbly chaos. How will the protagonist prevent Mum from finding out and can he stop those naughty monkeys?

Much fun will be had by children reading this story. From the little boy’s absurd predicament to Gregory’s hilarious and expressive illustrations. The bedlam snowballs with each turning page, leaving the poor protagonist in increasing trouble. His conundrum must come to a halt at some point and children will enjoy finding out how the little boy overcomes the monkeys. A real selling point for this story is the character of Mum, who is increasingly unaware of the events around her. I am sure children will enjoy seeing a figure that would ordinarily be in a position of authority so blatantly oblivious to her surroundings.

This text contains some subject specific vocabulary through the names of the various different monkeys that arrive. I had certainly never heard of many of the monkey species in this story. I am sure this could stimulate some intriguing independent research into different types of monkeys and their habitats, with a potential for some interesting non-fiction writing. Monkey Bedtime is a fun read aloud for children in EYFS and Key Stage One and an enjoyable book to sit in the reading corner or school library.