Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale – Book Review

Ten in the Bed by Penny DaleTen in the Bed by Penny Dale is based on a children’s nursery rhyme.

Dale makes two interesting changes to the standard rhyme. Rather than having “one” fall out, she creates nine distinct stuffed animals and one little boy for the ten in the bed.

On each page, one of the stuffed animals falls out. On the last page, they all jump back into bed with the little boy.

The small alterations turn the nursery rhyme into a cute and compelling children’s book. My baby liked the different animals, the sing-song text, and the huge picture of the bed on each page.

Dale introduces nine different animals in the book: hedgehog, zebra, yellow bear, crocodile, rabbit, mouse, elephant, brown bear, and sheep. Each is illustrated in a different color scheme and a cute face.

The publisher, Candlewick Press, includes a recommended age range of 18 months to 3 years on the back cover. Three years is a good upper limit as older children will get bored after a single reading. Babies younger than 18 months will still like the book even if they can’t fully understand all the words.

Arya loved the picture of the bed on the left-hand side of each page. Both text and a picture of the animals which have rolled off the bed are on the right-hand side of each page. But she consistently stared at the picture on the left throughout the story. My favorite picture was on the page when rabbit rolled off the bed.

There are other illustrated children’s books based on the same nursery rhyme including a classic hardcover edition from 1988. The current version is a good balance of colorful pictures and a much cheaper price.

Ten in the Bed costs (including shipping) $5.99 new and $3.99 used from Amazon.