Review of My Bed: Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep Around the World

My Bed: Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep Around the World
by Rebecca Bond; illus. by Salley Mavor
Preschool    Houghton    40 pp.    g
9/20    978-0-544-94906-5    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-0-358-35905-0    $13.99

“My bed rocks on the water. / My bed sways in the breeze. / My bed’s beneath a curtain. / My bed’s aloft in trees.” A gently rhyming text accompanies exquisitely crafted illustrations, taking listeners on a lulling bedtime journey around the world. Each double-page spread features a different locale (twelve in all); a short paragraph in smaller type follows the brief main text and offers one or two facts about a country, region, or culture: “In warm, humid parts of the world, such as India, finely woven netting prevents mosquito bites, even when one is sleeping with the windows wide open.” In an endnote, Mavor (A Pocketful of Posies, rev. 11/10, winner of the 2011 Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award) discusses the research that informed her hand-stitched illustrations and provides insight into her labor-intensive artistic technique. The mesmerizing scenes — made from “fabric, beads, wire, and yarn on embroidered fabric backgrounds” — incorporate patterns and details relevant to each location, including the Netherlands, Brazil, Afghanistan, Ghana, Canada, and Japan. Bond’s (Out of the Woods, rev. 9/15) spare text is a pleasing contrast to the elaborate illustrations. While the book’s premise is introducing differences in sleep customs among cultures, young listeners will drift off with a sense that no matter where we lay our heads, we are more alike than not.

From the November/December 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Kitty Flynn
Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

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