Author: Lauri Fortino
Illustrator: Bong Redila
Publisher: Ripple Grove Press
ISBN: 978-0-9913866-3-5

Would you like to sit on my fine bed before I go?” the man is asked in Lauri Fortino’s children’s book, The Peddler’s Bed.
At forty pages, this oversized hardbound targets children ages six to ten years old. With no profanity or scary scenes, it should be read out loud to beginner readers due to the complicated two- and three-syllable words. Colorful and expressive painted illustrations grace all pages with an easy-to-read fanciful black font overlapping lighted areas.

This short tale begins with a tall, thin peddler driving his horse-drawn cart past a little man working in his garden with his dog.  When the salesman stops and chats with the old man, he shows him his one-of-a-kind comfy bed. He challenges the little man by offering to give him his sturdy bed if he can make it squeak. With sounds emanating from a door, water pump, mouse, chair, and pail, no noise-making ideas come from the man. After sharing a meager meal, the man is asked to sit on the bed, to which he quickly falls asleep. While the homeowner rests, the traveler moves the bed with the squeaky snoring man into the house and happily sneaks away.

This is an innocuous story that promotes kindness and thinking of others by graciously giving up something important. I like how the gracious peddler does not notice or bring to mind the little man’s poverty or lowly status.

Due to the extensive wording, the book may need to be read out loud to young readers, but it would be quality time spent with them, aiding with pronouncing the words and looking at the designs.

Living in New York, Fortino is a library assistant, blogger, and member of SCBWI, ALA, and NYSLAA. Having written a prior children’s ebook, she has published her first traditional picture book. Husband and father, Redila is a self-taught illustrator who lives in Florida.

While kindness and thoughtfulness are promoted in the book, it would be helpful if there was a page at the end of the book suggesting conversations or activities to do that involve being kind to others.

If you are looking for a cute book about compassion for others while noting squeaking sounds, this would be an ideal selection.

Thanks to Bookpleasures and the author for choosing me to read and review this complimentary book for my unbiased, honest opinion.