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THE MAGIC BED by John Burningham


by John Burningham & illustrated by John Burningham

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2003
ISBN: 0-375-82423-5
Publisher: Knopf

Georgie outgrows his crib and goes shopping for a bigger bed. He chooses an old one from a thrift shop and finds a special message carved into it that says if he guesses the magic word he’ll travel far. He finally guesses it, though it’s never revealed to the reader. From then on, Georgie enjoys nightly adventures in his bed, saving a baby tiger and escaping mean pirates, until, to his dismay, his family gets rid of the old bed and buys him a brand-new one. By day, three adults are pictured with Georgie—his granny, a man named Frank, and an unnamed woman. Frank and the woman seem to be his guardians, but it’s unclear if they’re his parents. Burningham’s whimsical illustrations are a perfect match for his experienced, well-paced prose. Children will enjoy the fantasy, while adults might detect between the lines a feeling of loss and a desire to escape. However, one is never sure where it’s coming from. (Picture book. 3-7)