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BUGLETTE THE MESSY SLEEPER by Bethanie Deeney Murguia


by Bethanie Deeney Murguia & illustrated by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: May 10th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58246-375-9
Publisher: Random House

Buglette is neat and precise during the day, but each morning she awakens to a messy bed that reflects the big dreams of the night before.

Driving a construction machine leads to a mountain of blankets, and kicking a ball over the moon leaves her pillow teetering on a branch. Her parents tend to be heavy handed with guilt-inducing comments, comparing her to her brothers, who are “neat little sleepers,” and sighing over “how we ended up with a messy sleeper.” They also plant the seed of blame when they suggest that her nighttime movements might wake up their feared predator, the crow. Her brothers make an attempt to “put a lid” on her, but the result is near disaster when the crow makes his move. Buglette bravely saves them all by emulating her intrepid dream self. Murguia’s tale sends mixed messages. Messy sleeping may be an issue for bugs, but it probably won't resonate with humans, and literal-minded young readers will not be able to project any alternate interpretations. Mama Bug’s attitude is especially problematic and obfuscates the apparent theme of celebrating differences and dreaming of possibilities. The watercolor illustrations in nature’s colors are appealing, and Buglette’s action-packed dreams are charmingly depicted. They also serve to provide a visual interpretation that, perhaps, rises above the text.

Here's hoping Murguia’s next book has a clarity of text that matches the illustrations. (Picture book. 4-7)