Monday, 9 December 2013

The Magic Bed by John Burningham

I got thinking last week, after writing about William Steig, about John Burningham. Their books are similar insofar as they are both equally popular in this house, and equally, I don't want to say thought provoking, as I have never seen my kids rubbing their chins and looking pensive after reading them, but they do peer closely at the illustrations and sit silently for the stories.

The Magic Bed was our first Burningham book. It's definitely my favourite. Georgie needs a new bed. His granny advises going to the shopping centre. (Isn't that so eighties? When nothing was any good unless it came from a shopping centre?) But Frank, (his stepfather? I'm not sure, but he is an only child and lives with his mum, his gran and Frank) on Georgies suggestion, opts for a second hand shop. And they find the bed.

So Frank helps Georgie clean up the bed and they find a message written on it. According to this, if Georgie says a magic word, the bed will take him to wonderful places. Frank does not laugh at this(unlike his mother and irritating Granny) he just tells George that the magic word is not easy to read and it says "M something, something, something, Y." And Georgie keeps trying until he gets it.  Soon he is travelling over the city and having many adventures.

But when the family take a break in the sun, Granny decides that a new bed is in order. She is SO annoying! On his return, Georgie is horrified, and races to the dump to see if he can save the magic one...

And phew! There it is on top of a skip. 

This is a wonderful book for any age. Other Burningham treasures include Harquin, reviewed by me here and Harvey Slumfenburgers Christmas Present, which is  perfect for this or any time of year.