Reindeer would like to go to sleep but can’t seem to find a bed that doesn’t already belong to someone else.
Leading a large cast of droopy-eyed animals in nightclothes, Reindeer tries to sack out in bed after bed—only to discover time after time (with lifts of successive single gatefolds) that no, each belongs to Raccoon, or the two Moles, or Fox, or Bunny, or another housemate. The views of Reindeer awkwardly sprawled atop or wedged into hammocks or different types of too-small or otherwise unsuitable bedsteads are positively chuckleworthy, and more-acute viewers can predict who will be occupying each bed before the flap is lifted by noting which animal has disappeared from Bijsterbosch’s shrinking cast of sleepy onlookers. The bright, matte colors are eye-catching, offering just the right balance of busyness to help guide board-book readers into more-complicated compositions. Reindeer arrives at last at a bed that would be perfect but is already occupied by an owl. Her dismay is short-lived, as the owl wakes up and flies off hooting, “I sleep during the day. Now it is your turn.” Ahh, sweet relief at last! “We all sleep best,” the simply phrased narrative concludes, “in our own bed.”
Truer words…capping a less-contentious alternative to Candace Fleming’s Go Sleep in Your Own Bed!, illustrated by Lori Nichols (2017). (Picture book/novelty. 2-5)