cover image Simon’s New Bed

Simon’s New Bed

Christian Trimmer, illus. by Melissa van der Paardt. S&S/Atheneum, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4814-3019-7

Simon the dog has a brand-new bed, and he’s stoked to take “the best nap of his life.” Then he discovers that the family’s Siamese cat, Miss Adora Belle, has already claimed the bed. Readers will sense from the sly one-eyed gaze she shoots at Simon that her actions are as much about pulling Simon’s chain as they are about getting enough shut-eye. To his credit, sweet-natured Simon never even considers violence, although he does bark and attempt to dislodge the cat by dragging the bed around the house and yard. Newcomer van der Paardt chronicles this two-character comedy of wills in digital drawings that turn the red dog bed into a visual punctuation mark and a taunting object of desire. Trimmer, a children’s book editor making his debut, will almost certainly tap into feelings of “I’ve been there myself” in many of his readers: when you’re clearly within your rights and no one is around to intervene, how do you deal with someone whose sense of entitlement is intractable? The solution, it seems, is a literal application of the phrase “strange bedfellows.” Ages 4–8. (Aug.)