It’s time for bed, sleepy head.
No, no, take RED instead.
It’s bed time, but a small child is resisting. But in the interests of helpful, other options are offered to Mum. Each of these options rhymes with ‘head’. Each introduces other occupants of the house, other aspects of the life of this particular family and their neighbourhood. Finally, Mum suggests that Ted might be lonely if he is in the bed alone. This provides the trigger for a final trooping upstairs to bed. Illustrations are pencil and watercolour and offer their own narrative and extra elements to identify. Endpapers feature a paper plane flying and landing, and other elements of the child’s life.
Take Ted Instead is a bedtime story. A story of bedtime that is, full of the procrastinations many young children employ to delay the inevitable. It’s not that bed is an unwelcome place, just that staying up seems a more attractive option. Here, the procrastination takes on a playful tone with each of the offered alternatives rhyming with ‘head’. A young pre-reader will soon be able to make guesses about the ‘head’ rhyme on the page. Recommended for preschoolers.
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller