Fred the beagle loves to nap, and he can sleep anywhere—in a shopping bag or a pile of old newspapers or a slightly soggy bath towel. But even he can’t nap through a noisy birthday party.
Fred’s owner is Zelda, a competent little girl with curly, red hair. She is awhirl with preparations for her party, but the festivities are just too much for Fred. He is banished to the “Flower Bed” in the backyard after tasting the frosting roses on the cake and then trying to climb into a “Noisy-Baby Bed.” When the backyard proves even too exciting, he takes refuge in the “Used-to-Be-Fresh-Laundry Bed” until the increasingly wild party is over. In a satisfying conclusion, Zelda presents one of her presents to Fred, a “Brand-New Bed” made of wicker—but alas, Fred can’t sleep in a designated bed. The final page shows “The Best Bed,” with Fred snuggled up to Zelda in her bed. The story is original and witty, as is Fred’s comical character. Bold, bright illustrations have a fresh appeal, with juicy colors, varied perspectives and fanciful flowers, along with the drolly humorous beagle. The connecting device that names each distinctly unusual bed is one that will appeal to preschoolers, who might be inspired to try napping in curious settings themselves.
Clever and charming. (Picture book. 4-8)