William’s bed is a perfect haven from the winter snow; the forest denizens think so too.
William, a dark-haired white boy, gets readers in the winter mood with his rosy cheeks, old-fashioned nightcap and union suit, wooly socks, and striped scarf. His welcome to each refugee is just as warm. A tiny chipmunk is first, tapping at the window. “The two climb in and curl up tight. / They YAWN and say, / ‘Good night.’ / ‘Good night.’ ” It won’t take listeners long to chime in on this repeated refrain, the numbers increasing as a porcupine, a woodchuck, and a raccoon snuggle down in the bed as well. And then a note slides under the door: “Do you have room for just one more?” The animals are begrudging, quickly forgetting William’s generosity in the interest of space in the bed. But they just can’t turn the newcomer away in the cold and snow. The end finds a gracious William curled up in the chair beside a bed heaped with animals as dawn lightens the window: he’ll see them in the spring. Groenink’s illustrations deftly juxtapose the warm light of the cabin with the darkness outside, and his characters are expressive; few readers will be able to stifle their own yawns.
A simpler alternative to Brian Patten and Nicola Bayley’s The Big Snuggle-Up (2011) for the youngest of listeners and bed-sharers. (Picture book. 3-6)