From the acclaimed author-illustrator of Julian is a Mermaid comes a story of small moments between father and child that affirms the comfort of finding one’s place in the world.
“We’re going camping, you and me.”
“Where?” I ask.
“The desert,” says Dad. “To shake hands with the universe.”
Going to bed each night can be dark and scary. The night sky stretches out endlessly, making one sensitive child feel small in comparison. So Dad comes up with a plan: a night of camping out in the desert. Together, the two load up Darlin’, the old pickup truck, and drive over the mountain with the radio on, stopping to shoot the breeze at a junkyard before setting up camp, jumping in sand dunes, and lying back to name all the birds they can see. After sunset, when the young thinker feels tiny against the vast sky, Dad knows just what to ask – and just what to say – to soothe away fears. Maybe this night spent under the stars (and a surprise from Mum and the baby later) are just what is needed to show that the universe is a friendly place.
Jessica Love is an actor and the author-illustrator of Julian Is a Mermaid, her debut picture book that won the Bologna Ragazzi Award and Klaus Flugge Prize, and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019. She is also the author-illustrator of Julian at the Wedding. She has a BA in studio art from the University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as a graduate degree from Juilliard. She has appeared in plays both on and off Broadway. Find her on Instagram as @jesslovedraws.
There is so much love and understanding in this beautiful story about finding your place in the universe.
Soothing and reassuring.
A beautiful bedtime story but it is also a share anytime story. A celebration.
This tender, reassuring story with its scattering of small word pictures, shows just how a parent’s empathy and undivided attention allows his child to gain a different perspective on the universe. Jessica Love’s delicate watercolour, gouache and ink illustrations convey both intimacy and vastness making this contemplative story perfect for bedtime sharing (or any time), especially for anyone experiencing a lack of confidence similar to that of the child narrator.
Red Reading Hub
A Bed of Stars is a touching family story […] The relationship between father and son is sketched tenderly, reinforced by the straightforward text, as well as the effective, desert coloured, illustrations.