"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."

Borges

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Flying Bed


The Flying Bed
Author: Nancy Willard
Painter: John Thompson
ISBN-10: 0590256106
ISBN-13: 978-0590256100

The Flying Bed is an incredibly beautiful book with an enchanting story. Newbery Award winning Nancy Willard tells the tale of the baker Guido and his wife Maria. Guido has inherited the bakery from his successful father but doesn’t have his skills. "Guido's icings were lumpy and his fresh bread tasted stale." Needless to say with that kind of baking going on, the customers go elsewhere, the business is dying and the couple is poverty stricken.

In desperation, Guido takes to selling just about everything they have to survive but when he sells the bed Maria puts her foot down. She will have a bed or she’ll move back home with her parents. So Guido heads off to find some kind of bed that will please Maria and be cheap enough for him to afford.

Guido takes a turn down an alley and finds a most unusual bed. It’s intricately carved and looks as if it were made for someone very rich. The shopkeeper tells him that the bed has chosen him and charges him nothing. Maria of course, is charmed by the bed and falls instantly in love with it. The first night however, the bed reveals is dark side and leaps out the window, terrified couple in to fly through the night sky of Italy. They encounter a Master Baker and things start to turn magical for the couple.

The Flying Bed is an amazing tale and the illustrations are just gorgeous. The paintings of the bed make it look almost alive and the aerial view of Florence is just stupendous. The book took my breath away. If you love art, Italy, and old fashioned fairy tales then this is the book for you. If you don't, you will after reading this. Highly recommended!

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