Recommended for readers 3-6
Green Forest is a pretty quiet, uneventful place until the morning that Rabbit wakes up to discover Dormouse is sleeping in his carrot box. Dormouse apologizes, and says he couldn’t sleep, so he decided to try a new bed. This quickly becomes a habit: Dormouse tries out Robin’s tie drawer, Deer’s antlers, Tortoise’s glasses case, Mouse’s cuckoo clock, and Squirrel’s music box! The animals have a talk with Dormouse: this has to stop; he’s giving everyone a fright! Dormouse disappears the next day, worrying his neighbors. When they start a search, they discover him in Gray Forest, in Wolf’s sock! After a quick rescue, they discover the reasoning behind Dormouse’s wandering: he doesn’t want to sleep alone.
This story is perfect for preschoolers who may have similar fears, and the parents and caregivers who wake up to discover an errant foot or arm lodged in a hip, the small of a back, or a neck. (Speaking from experience.) Dormouse’s desire for company overrides his sense of propriety, leading him to sneak into his neighbors’ homes to be near someone at night; understandably, it’s a little nerve-wracking to wake up with someone unexpected in one’s home, and the group confronts Dormouse, not giving him a chance to explain himself. Parents will understand the guilt the animal friends feel when Dormouse disappears, and both parents and caregivers will appreciate the arrangement everyone comes to for future sleepovers. A sweet addition at the tale’s end gives Dormouse a chance to pay it forward.
Marco Somà’s illustration is just beautiful, with small details that will keep readers noticing something new with every read; from the carrot wallpaper in Rabbit’s home, to the owl’s face built into Owl’s home, and beyond. The blue tinge throughout the artwork lends a peaceful vibe to the story, making this a loving bedtime read, perfect for snuggling with the kiddos before they fall asleep in their own beds (or at least, start out there).
Released in 2017 in Spanish (978-84-946926-5-9), Dormouse and His Seven Beds is part of nubeOCHO’s nubeclassics line, and reads like a classic fable should.