Winner of the
Colorado Book Award!

A cumulative verse celebrating earth, space and a kid's sense of place.

llustrated by
Caldecott Honor Illustrator
Margaret Chodos-Irvine.
Website Designed by Jean Reidy © 2005. "Shelly the Turtle" Designed by Genevieve Leloup
See What Reviewers Are Saying:

"The coziest of quilts becomes a rocket ship in this gorgeous, mesmerizingly rhythmic read-aloud that explores a boy’s small place in a vast world. Sporting star-spangled pajamas, the not-too-sleepy astronaut wraps his red-and-white quilt around his shoulders and zooms off into outer space. The slow-building rhyme echoes the cumulative structure of “The House That Jack Built”: “These are the planets that circle the sun, / which hides its face when the day is done, / while stars glow bright / and light up the night, / in my own little piece of the universe.” The soothing rhythms and comforting refrain are just right for very young ears, and the geographical terms will stretch young minds. During the boy’s fanciful flight, his aerial view of Earth includes hemispheres, continents and countries—eventually zeroing in on his own town, house, street and bed. Caldecott Honor–winner Chodos-Irvine’s colorful illustrations are fun and friendly, from the retro linocut spot art of the boy in his bedroom (“This is me”)—to dramatic full-bleed spreads that capture the expansive galaxies, complete with a smiling moon, animal constellations, planets and four-eyed aliens. The richly textured mixed-media artwork—incorporating various printmaking techniques and what looks like cut-paper collage—offers many clever self-referential moments and something new to discover with each reading. A dreamy-yet-instructive ode to the universe." Kirkus Starred Review

"A boy celebrates his place in the world in Reidy’s (Too Pickley!) soothing bedtime story. Removing the red-and-white quilt from his bed, the narrator fashions it into an open-cockpit jet and blasts into outer space: “These are my galaxy stars so bright—/ they light up the heavens late at night/ in my own little piece of the universe.” The cumulative verse follows the boy’s journey as he eventually zeroes in on Earth, where, after he pays tribute to his continent, country, town, and street, he returns to his house, bedroom, and cozy bed. Caldecott Honor artist Chodos-Irvine’s (Ella Sarah Gets Dressed) brightly colored matte prints portray the universe as a welcoming place, abuzz with activity, with swirling, starlit skies and friendly constellations, astronauts, and aliens. Acting as a confident tour guide, the boy remains literally in the driver’s seat, as his quilt-patterned vehicle transforms into a spaceship, prop plane, train, truck, and skateboard before reverting to its original form. The collaborators are entirely in sync as they remind readers that the universe and its wonders are theirs to revel in. "Ages 4–8. (Oct.) Publishers Weekly

"This charming bedtime book plays off of the “This Is the House That Jack Built” cumulative classic. A little boy tells of his universe, starting from the farthest point he can imagine and ending up in his bed, just in time for sleep and dreaming. Reidy’s rhymes are so lively and appealing, however, that the child being read to may feel rejuvenated rather than lulled (“This is my continent, far and wide. / It kisses an ocean on either side, / on half the Earth, / which circles the sun, / which hides its face when the day is done”). Likewise, Chodos-Irvine’s illustrations reveal a boy who, after being kissed good night, gets up from his bed and wraps himself in his red-and-white quilt in order to narrate this grand tour. The quilt becomes a jet, a rocket, a flying saucer, and other red-and-white forms of transportation. From the swirling galaxies and the woodcut-style sun to the color-coded map of the U.S. and the retro feel of the boy’s bedroom, it does seem like a wonderful world." Booklist

"Before bedtime, a young boy plays with his toys—vehicles of all kinds, from a truck to a spaceship. He quietly identifies himself by saying, “This is me,” captioning a small spot art illustration surrounded by white space. Why so small? Because, as listeners soon discover, he’s part of something big. His mother tucks him in, but he doesn’t go straight to sleep. Instead, he takes his blanket, transforms it into a rocket ship, and soars off into the vastness of the heavens. Thus begins a cumulative tale that takes him out of this world (“These are my galaxy stars so bright— / they light up the heavens late at night”) and back again to his “own little piece of the universe”: “This is my room, with my name on the door, and my dinosaur lamp, and my rug on the floor.” Soft assonant sounds soothe the cumulative rhyme that parallels nighttime routines through its repetition and structure. Visually, the most important object in the book is the boy’s best bedtime companion: his blanket. Reproduced on the endpapers, the blanket first swaddles the book and then the boy as pieces of it morph into the vehicles that transport him. Double-page spreads of bright but not overpowering collages depict his journey, while the opening and closing actions (of going to bed and going to sleep) are shown in smaller wordless panels, bringing the story full circle."  Betty Carter Horn Book

"Simply outstanding. In a cumulative,"house that Jack built" narrative, a young boy folds his blanket around himself and sails out over the Earth, into the stars and then all the way back till finally snuggling down in his own bed, ending each verse with 'in my own little piece of the universe.' The concept is lovely and comforting, the rhymes are PERFECT and the art colorful, child friendly and has just the right amount of details. Wonderful at bedtime or any time of the day. " Library Lady

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