Why Do I Have to Make My Bed?

9781582463278

Why Do I Have to Make My Bed?

by Wade Bradford

illustrated by Johanna van der Sterre

Age: 4+ (right up to age 7 or 8)

Interests: history, families, chores

Tricycle Press: 2011

32 pages

Next: more history picture books… The Post Office Cat, The Glorious Flight, Ox-Cart Man, Abraham Lincoln

When a boy asks his mother this familiar question – “Why do I have to make my bed? It’s just going to get messed up again.” – she remembers a story about his grandmother not wanting to make her bed, and her mother told her a story about her grandfather not wanting to make his bed,… and so on back to pioneer times, to Viking times, to Roman times, to Egyptian times, all the way back to a disgruntled cave boy. Their chores may change over the centuries, but all these children have the same views on bed-making, and their mothers all have the same answer.

The repetitive narrative is lively and fun, the illustrations capture child-parent friction in an amusing way, and the punchline is perfect.

If you’re looking for a way to introduce history to your preschooler, this is a wonderful book to do it. Not only does it challenge them with the story-within-a-story-within-a-story, but it explores the idea of our grandparents and their grandparents linking us slowly back and back through time. It starts them thinking about the lives of children who lived long ago, how much things have changed and how little people have changed.

(available at amazon.com)

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.