Parents and kids looking for a break from the ordinary will appreciate this imaginative collection of stories and songs from quirk-rock kings They Might Be Giants. Fresh on the heels of their highly successful children's record No!
, Bed, Bed, Bed
features four brief stories written by the Giants and illustrated with surreal panache by Marcel Dzama along with a CD featuring all four stories in song version. "Impossible" explores the possibility of turning into fantastical animals like Octofish and Octofee or growing violet hair that flows down the stairs. Kids will find the silly animals and warped reality delightful and will love singer John Linnell's spacey conspiratorial tone. "Happy Doesnt Have to Have an Ending" tells the story of a hippie kitten "on a secret mission to make a valentine for everyone on earth," who wants everyone to dance and be happy. "Idlewild" slows things down with a softer, sleepier beat and a story about a dreamy trip to the carnival. But the Giants save the best story for last; "Bed Bed Bed Bed Bed" is a well-reasoned and catchy argument for slumber. "I did so many things today, theres nothing left to do", sings guest vocalist Kimya Dawson (in a slower, different version than the one on "No!"). While the story features familiar bedtime milestones, Dzamas illustrations lend the proceedings a compellingly skewed vision in which kids eat three meals in the company of bears and go to bed accompanied by their pet octopus and a tuxedoed rabbit. While the lyrics flow nicely in the songs, they can sometimes be a bit clunky on the page. But even then, the stories and Dzamas illustrations are more imaginative and memorable than most childrens books today. --John Moe
About the Author
They Might Be Giants
are John Linnell and John Flansburg. They became friends in Massachusetts when they were kids. They started They Might Be Giants in Brooklyn, New York, where they have a phone machine called Dial-A-Song that plays their songs. They won a Grammy for their song, "Boss of Me," the theme for Malcolm in the Middle.
They recently released an album called No!
for the whole family. Bed, Bed, Bed
is their very first book.