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Publishers Weekly Review
Burningham's (Hey! Get Off Our Train) many fans may be disappointed with this underdone caper. When Georgie outgrows his little-boy bed, his father takes him to an antique store, where the shopkeeper sells them a bed that he says is "magic," and adds, "you could travel in it." Faint writing on the headboard offers instructions to "say your prayers" and then say a word that is no longer entirely legible, yet begins with "m" and ends in "y." Georgie has no luck guessing the magic word the first night, but on the second he gets it right and soars over the city in his bed, transported to a field where gnomes and fairies read him a bedtime story. On other flights he visits the jungle and helps a lost tiger find its parents, discovers a pirate treasure chest in a cave, gives a ride to some tired geese, etc. The story loses its sparkle after the lad's last journey; his family goes off on holiday and when they return the boy's granny has bought him a new bed and has taken "that nasty old bed" to the dump, where Georgie retrieves it. Burningham's illustrations range from fanciful and luminous to sketchy. The ending, in which readers are told, "If you lie very still in your bed and find your magic word, perhaps you could travel far away like Georgie," seems a weak bridge to the fantasy elements here. Ages 3-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
PreS-K-In the tradition of Come Away from the Water, Shirley (Crowell, 1977; o.p.), Burningham offers another imaginative, child-oriented story. It is time for Georgie to get a new bed, so his grandma sends him off to the shopping center with Frank. Much to her dismay, they come home with an old bed from a used furniture store that is supposed to be magic. After trying out many possible magic words, Georgie discovers that it can take him on many great adventures. However, while he is on vacation, his granny buys a new bed and sends the old one to the dump, where Georgie rescues it and flies it off. "Now, if you lie very still- and find your magic word, perhaps you could travel far away like Georgie." With simple, word-perfect prose, Burningham captures a child's imagination. The flights of fancy are every youngster's dream, and the practicality of the grandmother is an exact replication of the traditional long-suffering adult. Burningham's trademark ink and mixed-media illustrations are quite simple, yet capture each moment of the boy's real life and his nocturnal travels perfectly. The artist's use of colored backgrounds for the adventures, as well as his mastery of suspense-building page turns, reflects the mood of the story well and will entertain and engage readers. The large trim size and economical text will work well for storytimes as well as for one-on-one enjoyment. Expect lots of magic words recited before bed.-Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PreS. When little Georgie outgrows his crib, he chooses an antique replacement that is inscribed with the promise of magic if he says his prayers and a secret password, which he finally discovers. Every night thereafter, Georgie embarks on a new and different journey: through the jungle, on a swim with dolphins (which is why his bed was sometimes wet in the mornings ), in the stream of dreamtime traffic, or racing geese and witches. Then Georgie's family replaces his magic bed with a bland new one, but he manages one last flight. The ambiguous ending is a bit weak, the subject (a child's secret nighttime adventures) isn't new, and a few details are unclear: Whom does Georgie live with? How old is he? But Burningham's simple, sly sentences and whimsical mixed-media art will immediately transport children on their own imagined departures, while reassuring little ones who are dreading new, big beds of their own. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2003 Booklist
Horn Book Review
When it's time for a bigger bed, Georgie chooses an old one from an antique shop. 'Why did you get that awful old bed? Why didn't youàbuy a new one?' his granny exclaims. The bed is magic, and once Georgie discovers the magic word, the bed takes him on far-off journeys. While the story meanders, Burningham's rich, imaginative illustrations, showing Georgie on a variety of adventures, are strong. From HORN BOOK Spring 2004, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
Georgie outgrows his crib and goes shopping for a bigger bed. He chooses an old one from a thrift shop and finds a special message carved into it that says if he guesses the magic word he'll travel far. He finally guesses it, though it's never revealed to the reader. From then on, Georgie enjoys nightly adventures in his bed, saving a baby tiger and escaping mean pirates, until, to his dismay, his family gets rid of the old bed and buys him a brand-new one. By day, three adults are pictured with Georgie--his granny, a man named Frank, and an unnamed woman. Frank and the woman seem to be his guardians, but it's unclear if they're his parents. Burningham's whimsical illustrations are a perfect match for his experienced, well-paced prose. Children will enjoy the fantasy, while adults might detect between the lines a feeling of loss and a desire to escape. However, one is never sure where it's coming from. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.