A cozy bedtime story for introspective youngsters from a talented author-illustrator: A Bed of Stars by Jessica Love.
A Bed of Stars Review
In Love’s latest installment, readers are presented with a boy plagued by anxiety as he tries to go to bed at night. The infinite size of the universe and the countless stars make him feel small and insignificant. To help him, his dad takes him camping in the desert outside their southwest U.S. town. Love’s multisensory details throughout the story bring the story to life. Meanwhile, the boy discovers that the desert too, is filled with life.
The narrator tells the story as a sort of journal entry complete with lists, how-tos and diagrams of the trip. The narration reveals to us a very introspective, observant and sensitive child who comes to a transformative realization. As he and his father look up at the same stars that precipitated his initial anxiety, his father tells him that we are made of the same stuff of stars. Then, he drifts off to a restful sleep. The next morning, they return home after enjoying cups of hot chocolate, the anxiety an after-thought. His return home brings a celestial surprise from his mother who also played her part in helping him.
A reassuring father-son story for the right readers. The illustrations are in Love’s signature style that I can only find a good enough comparison in Sorolla paintings.
Kids who struggle with anxiety will find a comforting, quiet read perfect to end the day and welcome a peaceful sleep. Librarians would need the right child and would need to know them well enough to be able to recommend this book. This would best be found in psychologists’ offices and in the hands of families.