Gilbert Gorilla is about to go to his very first slumber party. His best friends from school — Ricky Rhino, Conner Crocodile, and Eddie Bellows — will all be there. As he frets about not being able to find the bathroom in the dark, or not being able to fall asleep without his good-night song, his mother reassures him by telling him to remember to pack his clown, Clarence, who will take her place that night and make everything okay. The slumber party gets off to a rousing start. The boys play dress-up with Mrs. Bellows' box of funny old clothes and costumes, and play with Eddie's racetrack and cars. Gilbert gets to be "it" during a game of hide-and-seek, and Mr. Bellows fuels the fun with a big box of pizza. A great pillow fight ensues after dinner, but then the boys quiet down and draw pictures until it is time to get ready for bed. The trouble begins when the boys crawl into their sleeping bags and Gilbert can't get to sleep. He cries and cries, while Mr. and Mrs. Bellows try to comfort him. Unfortunately, Gilbert has forgotten to pack Clarence, and it isn't until his friends play him a goodnight song that Gilbert can finally settle down to sleep. Rogers' expressive watercolor drawings of the animal friends are imaginatively rendered, and there are many details on each page to discover during successive readings. The nurturing aspect of the boys is an especially nice touch. Read this to any youngster who has yet to conquer the test of that first night away from home.