Laurie B. Friedman, Author, Lisa Jahn-Clough, Illustrator , illus. by Lisa Jahn-Clough. Dial $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-2562-1

"Jed loved his crib./ It felt just right./ Till his family surprised him/ with a big bed one night," begins this humorous tale of a first rite of passage. For Jed, the idea of leaving his cozy crib is far from appealing. With a roly-poly poignancy, poor Jed imagines himself first dwarfed by the bed's monstrousness, then falling out with such a velocity that he rolls down the hall. His extended family exhausts every possible enticement—new sheets, big boy pajamas from his aunt, pleadings from Grandma. But with a little reverse psychology on their part, and some strategic bouncing and tickling from Jed, the hero is soon happily ensconced between the covers. Newcomer Friedman's simple dialogue relies on a few forced rhymes (e.g., " 'Here's something for you,'/ said Jed's Auntie Stella./ 'We think you'll love it/ now that you're a big fella,' "), but Jahn-Clough's (Missing Molly) childlike stylizations and bright colors do a fine job of endowing the story with both emotional weight and circus-like comedy. Ages 2-6. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/07/2002
Release date: 03/01/2002
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