April 19, 2018

The Big Bed

Written by Bunmi Laditan
Illustrated by Tom Knight
Farrrar Straus Giroux
32 pp.
Ages 4-6
February 2018 

This child is going to be arguing cases before the Supreme Court; that is, before she ends up presiding over it and being appointed Chief Justice.  She is confident, articulate and, though very young, she knows what she's after and why she should get it. In this case, it's sleeping with Mom in The Big Bed.
From The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan, illus. by Tom Knight
With eloquent arguments that she purports to be "reasonable" and filled with positive reinforcement about her father's skills as a wrestler and piggyback-ride giver, the little girl opines about what happens at night.  Seems the big bed isn't big enough for herself and her parents, and it's clear who will be leaving.  As she's afraid of the dark, and her father still has his own mommy–hence no need to share hers–she recommends a solution that she is sure he will "find not only satisfactory, but also quite generous."
From The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan, illus. by Tom Knight
Bunmi Laditan, the blogger behind the very funny "The Honest Toddler" (at http://www.thehonesttoddler.com/), brings her trademark humour to this child's story.  Because it is all told from the child's perspective, from sitting her father down, arguing her case, presenting her plan to her mother (who laughs hysterically) and a culminating claim that "Mommy and I just want you to be happy", I feel like this is based on something Mommy Bunmi Laditan has experienced.  Everyone knows kids say the darnedest things and this little one does more than just say, she reasons and orates.  Supporting that perspective are British artist Tom Knight's illustrations.  His artwork, particularly that of the graphics the child herself creates, bolsters the cuteness of a child's perspective and makes The Big Bed as convincing as she is.

I truly hope her father can get some sleep on his new cot.
From The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan, illus. by Tom Knight

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