Editor's note: Up is down and down is up in the Topsy-Turvy household.
Once upon a time there lived a family called the Topsy-Turvies.
The Topsy-Turvies always got up at midnight. They put on their pajamas, then went upstairs and had dinner.
"Eat up, Fern," said Mr. Topsy-Turvy. Fern juggled the sausages. "Clever girl!" said Mr. Topsy-Turvy.
"Vern, stop eating with your fork," said Mrs. Topsy-Turvy. "You know that's for combing your hair. Please use you fingers and toes."
"Could you pass the jelly please, Fern?" said Mr. Topsy-Turvy. Fern dipped her fingers in the jar and hurled the jelly at her father. "Thanks," said Mr. Topsy-Turvy.
Then it was time for school. After school they went to the park. Later they played beautiful music together and watched TV. Afterward they ate breakfast, then took their baths and went to bed. Every night at the Topsy-Turvies was exactly the same until ...
one afternoon when a loud knock at the door woke them up.
"Who could that be at this time of the day?" yawned Mrs. Topsy-Turvy.
It was their neighbor, Mrs. Plum. "I'm sorry to bother you," said Mrs. Plum. "But I have to go out. Could you come over and look after little Lucy? She's as good as gold."
Mrs. Topsy-Turvy was very sleepy, but she liked helping others.
"Of course," said Mrs. Topsy-Turvy. "We'll be dressed in a minute."
As soon as everyone was ready, they went next door to Mrs. Plum's house.
"Thank you so much," said Mrs. Plum. "Do make yourselves at home and have something to eat." And off she went., "Mom, why is Mrs. Plum wearing clothes outside?" said Fern.
"Shh," said Mrs. Topsy-Turvy. "Everyone's different."
The Topsy-Turvies goggled at Mrs. Plum's house. Nothing looked right.
"Poor Mrs. Plum," said Mrs. Topsy-Turvy. "Let's fix up the house for her."
The Topsy-Turvies went to work. They fixed, they fussed and they put the room in apple-pie order. "That's better," said Mr. Topsy-Turvy.
"Careful, Lucy, don't put that apron on. You'll get paint all over it," said Mr. Topsy-Turvy.
"Lucy! Don't draw on the paper!" said Mrs. Topsy-Turvy. "Draw on the walls."
"I'm hungry," said Vern.
"So am I," said Fern.
Mrs. Topsy-Turvy looked at the clock. It was five o'clock.
"We might as well have breakfast," said Mrs. Topsy-Turvy. "Let's see what food we can find in the bedroom."
It took them a very long time to find where Mrs. Plum kept her food.
"How funny to eat in the kitchen," said Fern.
"Breakfast is under the table," said Mrs. Topsy-Turvy. "Don't forget to wash your feet."
"What's for dessert?" said Vern.
"Tomatoes," said Mr. Topsy-Turvy.
"Yippee!" said Vern.
"But no tomatoes until you finish your cake."
"Do I have to eat all my cake?" said Vern.
"Yes," said Mrs. Topsy-Turvy.
Suddenly there was a noise at the window. It was a burglar.
"Hurray! We've got a visitor!" shouted Fern.
"And he's coming through the window!" said Vern.
"Let's make our guest feel at home," said Mrs. Topsy-Turvy.
"Please have something to eat," said Mr. Topsy-Turvy, throwing tomatoes at the burglar.
"Have some cake!" said Vern, hurling leftovers.
"No, have some of mine!" shouted Fern.
"Mine too!" shouted Lucy.
The frightened burglar escaped as fast as he could.
"Why did he run off?" said Fern.
"I don't know," said Mr. Topsy-Turvy.
Then Mrs. Plum ran into the kitchen.
"Is everything all right?" said Mrs. Plum. "I just saw a burglar jump out the window!"
"Everything's fine," said Mr. Topsy-Turvy.
"You chased away a burglar!" said Mrs. Plum. "Thank you so much. Goodness what a mess he made!" "What mess?" said Mrs. Topsy-Turvy.
The Topsy-Turvies waved good-bye and went home.
"Mrs. Plum should have said thank you for fixing up her house," said Fern.
"Never mind," said Mr. Topsy-Turvy.
"It takes all sorts to make a world."
THE TOPSY-TURVIES by Francesca Simon, illustrated Keren Ludlow. Text Copyright c Francesca Simon, 1995. Pictures Copyright c Keren Ludlow, 1995. Published by arrangement with Dial Books For Young Readers, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.