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  • List Price: $16.95
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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Bed, Bed, Bed (They Might Be Giants) Hardcover – November 3, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 Doesn’t 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, there’s 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, Dzama’s 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 Dzama’s illustrations are more imaginative and memorable than most children’s books today. --John Moe

About the Author

They Might Be Giants (aka "TMBG") is an American alternative music group from Brooklyn, NY. The group was founded by John Flansburgh and John Linnell, who released their first album in 1986. Throughout their 25+ year career, the band has racked up several charting albums and singles, as well as two Grammy awards--one in 2002 for their song "Boss Of Me," (the theme song for "Malcolm in the Middle")and the other in 2009 fortheir children's album"Here Come The 123s". They continue to record alternative albums while branching out into the realm of children's music, and have sold over 4 million records in total.

Marcel Dzama was born in Winnipeg, Canada in 1974, where he later founded the Royal Art Lodge, and where he still lives and works. Last year his work appeared in Paris, Stockholm, London, Dusseldorf, Toronto and New York. It has also been published by Simon & Schuster, Penguin Books, Soft Skull Press and McSweeneyis Books.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Series: They Might Be Giants
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (November 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743250249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743250245
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Goff on November 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Our 2 boys (3 and 7) are big TMBG fans. They love No!, saw the children's show in NYC last spring, and enjoy all the songs on Dial-A-Song CDs. Our TiVo recorded TMBG on Conan when they performed No!/Clap Your Hands - we haven't deleted yet and it's still frequently requested (and danced to!).
So needless to say, when we heard about Bed, Bed, Bed we were very excited - and we weren't disappointed! The kids aside, I really love "Impossible" - a great song and wonderfully illustrated in the book. This book and CD are now part of our bed time routine. The songs are perfectly ordered to get things slowed down and everyone ready for slumber (except last night when our 3 year old couldn't stop dancing - note to self: no more chocolate milk at dinner!).
We highly recommend this book/CD and have already picked it out for several holiday gifts.
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Format: Hardcover
I love They Might Be Giants. I love love love them. I've been listening to their music for more than 15 years, and it's been very exciting to hear their music evolve over that time.
Their foray into the world of children's entertainment has been exciting for me, since I'm a children's-book junkie. But while I think the "No!" family CD hits the mark, the Johns' "children's book," "Bed Bed Bed" is a bit off.
The design and illustrations are beautiful, of course. TMBG is known for their cutting-edge taste in designers almost as much as for their music, and so the design and illustrations of the book are bound to catch a child's attention and hold it for a bit.
The text of the book, however, is just song lyrics, and I'm of the opinion that song lyrics generally don't make good reading -- without the music, at least half (if not more) of the experience is missing. And TMBG lyrics are so typically strange, you really do need the music to complete the context.
Of course, the book was meant to be read along with the enclosed four-song CD, and I do think the book is rather pointless without the CD. I take issue, however, with the recasting of the book's title song as a "lullaby." This plodding, tuneless version of the song would put anybody to sleep, in the hope of getting away from Kimya Dawson's monotonous voice. They may have done better to kick off the book and CD with the march-like, sound-effects studded version of "Bed Bed Bed" as it's featured on the "No!" album, and saved the floating, lovely "Idlewild" for the closing lullaby.
Last week I attended one of TMBG's "family concerts," and it was pretty clear that the "No!" album is building a very young sector in the TMBG listening audience. There's a lot to love about the "No!" disc, with its upbeat songs and fun animations. The "Bed Bed Bed" book and CD, while a beautiful package, is less accessible. I do hope the Johns will give children's publishing another shot!
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Format: Hardcover
Here's the routine: jammies, brush and floss, Bed Bed Bed, lights out. Every night, like clockwork. In fact, the only way I can get her to stop fooling around with the toothbrush is to say, "Let's go listen to Bed, Bed, Bed!" And she hops down from her stool and runs on tiptoes to her room shouting "BED BED BED BED BED BED BED BED BED BED BED BED BED!" When I start the CD, she alternates between studying the pictures in the book very carefully and dancing wildly. She calms down a bit at Idylwild (her favorite song?), and at the end of the fourth song she says "Night night time" and curls up with her pillow and doll. THAT'S IT! Is that amazing or what! Yeah, I'm a TMBG fan, but this CD/book isn't about me and my interest in TMBG, it's not about being a great work of art, it's about the MIRACLE of getting my daughter to go to bed without a fuss.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of the Brooklyn-based musical duo They Might Be Giants for a little over a year, ever since I received a copy of Dial-A-Song, a 2-CD anthology pulling together 52 tracks from their 20-year career, as an early Christmas present in 2002. I immediately fell in love with their unique brand of witty, intelligent, and eclectic alternative-pop, and over the course of 2003 I collected as much of their work as I could -- studio albums, solo records, a rarities collection, a live album, a DVD of their videos, a recent documentary about them (2003's Gigantic), and even their 2002 children's album NO!
Which brings me to their first book, Bed Bed Bed. As with the NO! album, since I'm in my mid-'20s and I don't have kids myself, it's easier for me to look at this book in terms of TMBG product rather than in terms of kid-friendly product. That said, it's an impressive product even by TMBG's typically high standards. I've lately noticed a kiddie-lit trend wherein popular songs (such as "I Hope You Dance") are simply made into books, but TMBG have gone beyond that. In addition to putting the NO! track "Bed Bed Bed" into storybook form, they've written three story-songs exclusively for the purpose of this project. (These four stories, which TMBG have set to music and put on a disc that comes with this book, will be discussed in detail below.) The illustrations by Canadian artist Marcel Dzama are quirky and strangely beautiful, like much of TMBG's music.
Here are the story-songs, in the order that they are presented in the book and on the disc:
1) "Impossible" -- This story offers the inspiring message that you can become whatever you want if you believe in yourself.
Read more ›
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