by Kathy Long
Patricia Cantor, illustrator
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Inside Jacket: It’s the middle of the night, but Christopher can’t sleep. He keeps hearing a noise thundering through the house: HONK-SHOO! Could it be an elephant trumpeting outside his window? Or a bear in his closet? Maybe it’s a dinosaur stomping down the street! Christopher gathers up all his courage, and readers follow close behind as he tiptoes down the hall to find out where the noise is coming from . . .
First Sentence: HONK-SHOO! What was that?
Young little Christopher is wide-awake in the middle of the night, scared of a noise: HONK-SHOO! What is that? He envisions several possibilities. Was it an elephant trumpeting, a monster under his bed, or maybe a dinosaur stomping down the street? Christopher finally crawls out of bed, determined to find the noise. In the hall he suddenly stops after seeing a mountain lion’s shadow on the wall. What more surprises could be awaiting Christopher? Will he discover the source of the HONK-SHOO!? Or will Christopher lie awake listening to the noise, impatiently waiting for morning?
Christopher goes through what every little kid, and even some big kids, goes through on some nights when a sound creeps upon our sleep, making us sit straight up in bed. “What was that?” He can lay in bed, covering his ears until the noise stops, yell for mom and dad to help him, or find out what the noise is himself. Christopher decides to do the latter, creeping into the hall, trying not to make a sound. Christopher Sat Straight Up in Bed is a fun book, great for any kid that is afraid of the dark or hears noises in the street or the house. When Christopher finds the answer, he feels much better and even laughs. He found out that the HONK-SHOO! was harmless and won’t keep him up anymore. That is a great message for kids who sit up straight in bed listening and fretting over noises or even the dark. The noise—or the dark—are nothing to worry about, are harmless, and maybe even funny, as in Christopher’s case.
I loved the book and it would have been perfect when I was a kid. We actually had the same HONK-SHOO in our house; sometimes I could hear it during the day. I did not have the courage to explore as Christopher does. If I had, or if I had this book read to me, the HONK-SHOO’s would not have been scary and maybe I would not have sat straight up in bed wondering what the noise was. Christopher Sat Straight Up in Bed is a good bedtime story. Parents will also get a kick out of the source of the noise Christopher hears. The story is easy to read out loud several times without getting annoyed, so parents will like the book.
The illustrations bath in nighttime dark blues and greens, and black shadows. The first page shows Christopher in a too small bed, the blanket too short to cover his feet, which lay on the top of the footboard. His eyes tell you he is afraid of the noise. HONK-SHOO! “What is that?” Christopher is a small kid and I appreciate the artist depicting Christopher as such. When he stands with the cat, on all fours the cat is as high as Christopher’s chest. Even the HONK-SHOO’s look taller than Christopher does. How scary is that!? He is very much a little boy . . . or is he a small cub? Looking at Christopher’s nose and its arch, plus the long thin ears, make me wonder if he is a bear cub. He, and his grandparents, reminds me of the Berestain Bears (celebrating its 50th anniversary). Either way, everything about him screams “Cute!
The ending leaves many questions. Is Christopher trying to get his grandmother out of her bed? He is holding grandma’s arm as if he is trying to stop her from doing something (I can’t say what). The very last spread has all the imaginary animals Christopher thought might be making the HONK-SHOO noise are sneaking away in a conga line. Daybreak as arrived depicted by the lighter green tone.
Christopher Sat Straight Up in Bed will entertain young children and their parents with each reading. The story has humor injected, though at times it is subtle. Christopher is a cute little boy who will charm all who read his story.
by Kathy Long website blog bio facebook twitter Patricia Cantor, illustrator website blog bio facebook twitter Eerdmans Books for Young Readers website blog facebook twitter pinterest Released February 7, 2013 ISBN: 978-0-8028-5359-2 33 Pages Ages: 4 – 8 . Copyright © 2013 by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, used with permission Text: Copyright © 2013 by Kathy Long Illustrations: Copyright © 12013 by Patricia Cantor
BOOK DONATED TO LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY
- Christopher Sat Straight Up in Bed: Kathy Long & Patricia Cantor (jkrbooks.typepad.com)
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