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Monday, June 4, 2018

The Big Bed, written by Bunmi Laditan with pictures by Tom Knight. Farrar Straus Giroux, Macmillan. Raincoast. 2018. $23.99 ages 8 and up

"When day turns to night,
it's normal for people to
seek comfort. No one can
deny that Mommy is full
of cozies and smells like
fresh bread. Who wouldn't
want to cuddle with her?

Seeing as how there are two
of us but only one of her, we
face a hard decision."

In this picture book debut, Ms. Laditan gives voice to a character parents of young children are sure to recognize. Young and spirited, she has a fierce need to have her mother all to herself. To that end, she begins a campaign to roust her father from her parents' bed and take his place beside her mother.

The bed is absolutely too small for three people to find comfort there, and she is afraid of the dark.

"Daddy, are you scared of the dark? Because I am.
I know you're convinced that my Deep-Sea Ocean
Wonder Fishy Light is come kind of night watchman,
but you should know that it creates more shadows
than it banishes.

I can't sleep alone."

She has a solution, and is happy to share it. Will she convince Dad to give it a try? I doubt it. But, you have to give her an 'A' for effort and imagination. Tom Knight creates cartoon scenes that will have older readers and parents hooting. Mom and Dad seem immune to the persuasive logic, while trying to give their very persistent daughter a wide berth for innovative thinking and confidence. 

Parents know how determined and 'right' a preschooler can be! This little one is proof positive of that, providing charts, posters and lists that augment her arguments. Full of fun, expressive, and sure to elicit a guffaw or two, this is a great read aloud for listeners in second grade and up. As well, the teachers and librarians I read it to found it very entertaining.

Keep an eye on the eyebrows!                                                                             

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