Friday, January 15, 2016

Under My Bed

Sterling, L. (2015). Under My Bed. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.

Children's / Picture Book / Teachable Moments / Kindness

I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Cover Blurb: What's "Under My Bed?" Find out in this poetic tale about kindness, responsibility, and an unexpected visitor in the night. A read-together story for the young and the young at heart.
This is great story about a little boy who is at first afraid, but when he gets more information, he responds with kindness and problem-solving for a resolution. Exactly what kids need in this day when often knee jerk reactions are the norm -- and those don't always turn-out well.  Children will likely have questions about what exactly is under the bed, opening the opportunity for discussions and creative activities for them to give their own answers.

The illustrations, done by Sandra Samson, are colorful, adorable and fit well with the text. Kids will love the looking at the pictures and listening to the story being read; I'd recommend the read-along happen with an adult or experienced reader who will have a better feel for how to make the rhyming best work.  Otherwise, due to sporadic use of punctuation and pages heavy with text, young or newly independents are going to struggle to read the book  solo.  

Sterling uses primarily end rhyming to tell the story (and often near rhymes, not exact), but the result is not overly rhythmic or lyrical.  Additionally, the pages progressively get more and more text heavy with the next to last page being completely full of text. Again, for younger and newly independent readers, this may be a bit overwhelming.  Breaking-down the text and adding a few more of Samson's rich illustrations would easily remedy this problem, and adding punctuation  - at least with questions and quotations -- would take the book to the next level.  

As the book stands, I would recommend it primarily for pre-readers to look at the pictures and listen along as a strong reader tell the story.   Teachers and librarians might also use this book as a springboard for other activities.  

Thank you to the author for providing me two print copies (one for the school library) in exchange for my honest opinion -- the only kind I give.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laura Sterling is an only child who has worn out countless library cards.  She can often be found with her nose in a book instead of doing grown up stuff like cleaning dust bunnies from under her bed.  Laura regularly shares her love of books as a volunteer reader for local Grade 6 class. She is aunt to an assortment of dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, ponies, and even a llama, and acts as the pet-sitter when their humans travel.

Laura has a wandering spirit, a vivid imagination, and a love of storytelling.  She works for a non-profit NGO as an outreach support worker and event organizer. A champion of community building, Laura is also the 2009 YWCA Women of Distinction award winner in the Advocacy category.  CONNECT WITH LAURA STERLING: 


ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: Sandra Samson believes in living a creative life whether as a hairstylist behind a chair, or doodling, painting, scrapbooking, sewing, and more. She enjoys inventing, experimenting, taking risks, making mistakes, and having fun.  Most of her inspirations revolve around her two children -- who she thinks are her best works of art yet -- and her supportive husband, who never allows her to think that any job is too big for her to dare or tackle. 

Both the author and illustrator live in Edmonton, Alberta, in western Canada. 


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