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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Go sleep in your own bed! Written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Lori Nichols. Schwartz & Wade, Random House. 2017. $23.99 ages 3 and up

"Pig toddled to his sty,
But when he
plopped down -
Who do you
think he found?
"Get up!"
squealed Pig.
"Go sleep in
your own bed!"

As parents of young children, you know what it is like to share a bed. There are times when it seems no one knows exactly where they belong when sleep overtakes. Familiar beds make for better rest as the animals in this agreeable story discover. The energy comes in the search for the perfect place to sleep ... your own bed!

Pig is first to lodge a complaint. Arriving at his sty for a good night's rest, he finds an intruder. Cow quickly makes her presence known, while Pig settles in. Pig sends her packing. Cow is confused, but grumpily makes her way to her stall. There, she finds a noisy and disgruntled chicken.

"Oh, fluff and feathers," clucked Hen.
And she straggled to her coop, peckety-droop."

This is a delightful story to share. Candace Fleming uses animal voices, expressive sound effects, perfectly-chosen verbs and wonderfully rhythmic, expressive language to appeal to her readers. It is a tale sure to be requested time and time again. I have personal proof of that, as I shared it often with Sicily when she was here last. The fact that it has a pattern will have little ones joining in in quick time.

Lori Nichols' illustrations are comedic and show expressive annoyance as each animal is given the boot from one place to the next. Dark and dreamy in the surroundings she creates, kids will recognize each new mistake made by the animal sleeping in the wrong place. It's up to the dog to execute the final move and a perfect ending.  AHHHH!                       

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