The Books

The Magic Bed

by John Burningham

One Potato Review

As with Burningham’s Cloudland, the traveling in this story is prompted by a single magic incantation. Here there is also a record of others who’ve traveled before us – over the city, to lands full of fairies and gnomes, and jungles, and treasure islands – by means of a second-hand bed, which is faintly, mysteriously engraved. Yes, this is a book about all of the places your imagination can take you, but it’s also a wistful reminder of how tempting it is to grow up. When Georgie returns home from a trip with his family to what looks like the actual Caribbean, he finds that his bed has been upgraded by his busybody granny. Whereas Cloudland ends with the boy – now a man – still futilely rummaging around for the perfect, lucky words, the magic in this story re-emerges from a junkyard, though you wonder where Georgie will keep it when he lands.

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