cover image Creak! Said the Bed

Creak! Said the Bed

Phyllis Root, , illus. by Regan Dunnick. . Candlewick, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-2004-2

Silly and slight, this story of an inadvertent and ultimately inadequate family bed is more notable for Dunnick's (The Louds Move In! ) buoyant gouache artwork than Root's (Toot Toot Zoom! ) text, which never quite finds its rhythmic footing. “One dark night in the middle of the night,” Mom and Dad are snoozing away when, one by one, the kids come in: Evie is scared, Ivy is cold, Mo is spooked, and Fred—the family dog—has an aversion to thunder. There aren't a lot of comic surprises: Mom is welcoming and Dad remains out cold (supplying snores, “snurkle[s],” and other nighttime noises), as the kids eke out unlikely spaces to sleep—on top of their parents' heads and under the pillows. Despite a massive crack that busts the bed after Fred's arrival, peace is achieved, though the last spread hints that it may be short-lived. Dunnick's big-headed, beady-eyed, and slightly clueless cast are deeply appealing: even very young readers should appreciate the humor in a family's single-minded pursuit of some zzzs. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)