Five on the Bed

West Margin. Oct. 2020. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781513264288.
K-Gr 2–This warm and playful story about a family getting ready for bed is also a counting book. The three family members and two pets are counted on and off the bed, and also under and over it. Throughout the book, the mom, dad, and daughter are all shown being cozy and affectionate to one another and to their pets. The parents, an interracial couple, smile at their daughter while she hides in the covers. They snuggle with the girl while reading together at bedtime; the dad, with dark brown skin, is shown calmly petting the cat, and the girl, a lighter brown but with her pale mother’s black straight hair, is seen rubbing the dog’s belly under the bed. At the end, after some back-and-forth, all five family members are piled up together on the bed and happily asleep. There isn’t much text, and the story is told primarily through the appealing illustrations. Boswell creatively uses cut paper to create a textured, 3D look on each page. Rich colors including dark blue and maroon contrast sharply with white sheets on the bed, creating bold images.
VERDICT The vivid cut-paper illustrations bring to life this amusing bedtime story, ideal for one-on-one reading at nighttime.

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