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Squeaky Door

Squeaky Door

5.0 2
by Margaret Read MacDonald, Mary Newell Depalma (Illustrator), Mary Newell DePalma (Illustrator)

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It's time for bed! Granny tucks Little Boy in tight. She kisses him good night. She turns out the light. And he's not scared! No, not him! But when Granny shuts that door... SQUEEEEAK!

How can a granny keep that spooky, squeaky door from scaring her little boy awake at night?

Acclaimed storyteller Margaret Read MacDonald spins a humorous



It's time for bed! Granny tucks Little Boy in tight. She kisses him good night. She turns out the light. And he's not scared! No, not him! But when Granny shuts that door... SQUEEEEAK!

How can a granny keep that spooky, squeaky door from scaring her little boy awake at night?

Acclaimed storyteller Margaret Read MacDonald spins a humorous bedtime story, perfect for reading aloud, with comical illustrations by Mary Newell DePalma.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A night at Grandma's proves far from restful for Little Boy and his grandmother in MacDonald's (Pickin' Peas) humorous retelling of an old Puerto Rican folk song ("La Cama"). Employing a traditional narrative framework, the story uses Grandma's question, "Are you going to be scared?" and Little Boy's response, "No. Not me!" as a recurring refrain. Despite his bravery, each time the bedroom door closes with a "squeeeeeak!" Little Boy wails. In response, Grandma introduces a series of animal companions, with hilarious consequences. DePalma (The Strange Egg) begins with several silhouette illustrations to a spread, but with the addition of each new animal, Grandma's goodnight scenes take up more and more space, culminating in a full-bleed spread of Little Boy, cat, dog, pig and horse in bed. The dark purple paintings illustrating Little Boy and his companions' terror when the door squeaks shut undergo a similar escalation, with Little Boy's "Waaaaa!" joined by "Meow!," "Woof! Woof!," "Oink! Oink!," "neigh! neigh! neigh!" and finally, "Kaboom!" when the bed breaks under the weight of its occupants. The chaos and absurdity (scenes of Grandma dressing each animal in pajamas are particularly charming) finally conclude with sleep for all. Over-the-top humor and a satisfyingly predictable narrative make this tale one that children will likely ask for again and again. Ages 3-6. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Storyteller and author Margaret Read MacDonald retells a Puerto Rican folk song she learned from New Zealand storyteller Liz Miller. A little boy sleeps over at Grandma's alone in a big bed in a room with a squeaky door. "WAAAAAH!" Grandma asks if he is scared. "Yes!" She brings in a cat, a dog, a pig, and finally a horse, and of course the bed breaks and the boy ends up sleeping with Grandma and Grandpa. The next day Grandma oils the door. That night the boy and the cat sleep soundly in the big bed in a room with a silent door. Rhythmic refrain invites participation. In Mary Newell DePalma's humorous illustrations, Grandma cleans and dresses the animals before bringing them in to bed. She enhances fear with pacing, type face, and size, along with the child's experience of the size of the big bed. The feet of the child and the animals almost wiggle under the red and green bedspread. 2006, HarperCollins Publishers, and Ages 3 to 6.
—Mary B. Bauer
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-When staying with his grandparents, a boy is frightened by the squeaky door to his bedroom. To comfort him, Grandma puts various animals in bed with him. In MacDonald's retelling, she tries a cat, dog, pig, and horse. When the bed breaks, the boy gets to sleep with his grandparents. The next morning Grandma oils the door, repairs the bed, and the child sleeps soundly after that. Other retellings include Laura Simms's The Squeaky Door (Random, 1991), Judith Mathews and Fay Robinson's Nathaniel Willy, Scared Silly (S & S, 1994), and Pat Thomson's The Squeaky, Creaky Bed (Doubleday, 2003). This one is very similar to the language in Simms's version. All of the retellings are funny, and children enjoy the absurdity of the situation. DePalma's bright and colorful cartoon illustrations are full of humorous details, but are not large enough to share with a group. This book is best suited for one-on-one sharing and is also a great choice to add to storytelling repertoires.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An inventive grandma, a noisy door and a bevy of barnyard animals provide the perfect ingredients for a rib-tickling tale in this adaptation of a Puerto Rican folksong from MacDonald. When Grandma tucks Little Boy in for the night, he assures her that he won't be afraid. However, when the bedroom door squeaks closed, he gives a mighty shout of fright. Grandma's attempts to soothe him results in pure mayhem-and fun for readers young and old. One by one, Grandma enlists the assistance of her four-footed friends, tucking them into bed with Little Boy for comfort. Just as she shuts the door on the increasingly crowded bedroom, a cacophony of human and animal shouts coincides with the squeak of the door. MacDonald provides plenty of repetition and opportunities for reader interaction, such as joining in with the kissing sounds and assorted critter noises. DePalma's full-color illustrations highlight the hilarity, depicting the intrepid Grandma dutifully cleaning up and then dressing each animal in pajamas for bedtime. A true gem, this rollicking tale will become a storytime favorite. A historical note on the origins of the tale is included in the end page. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.25(d)
AD250L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Margaret Read MacDonald is a storyteller, author, folklorist, and children's librarian, whom School Library Journal has called "a grand dame of storytelling." Ms. MacDonald is the author of numerous books, including pickin' peas, illustrated by Pat Cummings, and the award-winning book The Parents' Guide to Storytelling. She lives in Kirkland, Washington.

Mary Newell DePalma is the illustrator of many picture books, including Knock! Knock! by Jan Wahl, My Chair by Betsy James, and her own The Strange Egg. Ms. DePalma lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Squeaky Door 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My two year old loves this book. She and I take turns making all the sound effects. One of three pre-bedtime books in heavy rotation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My granddaughter and I actually checked this new book out at the library. We read it at bedtime that night, and it is a sweet and funny story with the animals wearing pajamas (the cat is wearing a pink sleeping mask) and of course me making the smooching sound as grandma said goodnight to everyone. My granddaughter could hardly wait to turn the pages to see what animal would next be brought into bed. We will be buying this one for sure.