I SAID, "BED!" by Bruce Degen


From the "I Like to Read" series
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 7
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A book written for new readers seems more like fare for the toddler set.

The unnamed protagonist is a boy who resists his stern mother’s titular directive that he go to bed. Pictures depict her exasperation as she drags him down the hallway and then as she tries to get him out from under his bed. In a very abrupt mood shift on the facing page, she is then pictured sitting and smiling while reading aloud from a chair beside his bed. Playful colored pencil–and-graphite illustrations are anything but sleepy, and their busyness may prove overwhelming for emergent readers attempting to decode text. Furthermore, while the words themselves are simple enough to inspire confidence and independence, the bedtime-angst theme seems better suited to a younger audience. This concern is only somewhat mitigated when the art takes a fantastic turn, sending the boy and his teddy bear flying off on an adventure, as this part of the story is rather disjointed. They sail in a bed that has become like a boat and then encounter alien children who are also resisting bedtime. Then, the boy and teddy bear recognize the moon children’s bed as their own, and they seize it and take it back home. Their appetite for fun satiated, they then decide to go to sleep, too.

A mixed bag of a book. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 15th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2938-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2014


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