What You Never Knew About Beds, Bedrooms, and Pajamas

Overview

  • You make your bed in the morning. At times in the past, people really made their beds — and at night they stuffed straw into a sack, making a bed to lie on.
  • Nightclothes were first worn in the 1500s. Before that, people slept in their day clothes, their underwear, or nothing at all.
  • In Ancient Rome, bedrooms were small. A servant guarded the doorway by sleeping across it.

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Overview

  • You make your bed in the morning. At times in the past, people really made their beds — and at night they stuffed straw into a sack, making a bed to lie on.
  • Nightclothes were first worn in the 1500s. Before that, people slept in their day clothes, their underwear, or nothing at all.
  • In Ancient Rome, bedrooms were small. A servant guarded the doorway by sleeping across it.

Learn these facts and more in this true but funny account as Newbery Honor Patricia Lauber and celebrated illustrator John Manders go under the covers to explore beds, bedrooms, and pajamas since the Stone Age. They'll show you how the world's been sleeping since the dawn of time.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2–5
Focusing on sleeping customs through the ages, Lauber begins with the Stone Age and moves up to the 1700s, but includes some more contemporary facts as well. She also corrects common myths, such as the idea that ancient Egyptians reposed on headrests to keep their hairdos neat (not true, since they wore wigs). Manders's engaging artwork varies between full-page and spot illustrations. The humorous asides from characters in the comic-style pictures will entertain youngsters as they get the full impact of people snoozing in very different ways. All of this history is put into context at the end, where the author draws parallels between slumber habits in the past and current practices. One of the examples is sleeping outside, which was done in the Stone Age and that we now call camping. Overall, a winning look at history.
—Susan E. MurrayCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Lauber follows up What You Never Knew About Tubs, Toilets, & Showers (2001) with another quick tour through domestic history, taking readers from prehistoric times to campouts and sleepovers, with pauses for glimpses at "Great Moments in Nightclothes" and a recapitulative "Great Moments in Bed History." Separating the easily digestible passages of text, Manders's comical, cartoon-style scenes feature figures in historical dress and brief comments in dialogue balloons. Aside from a single reference to "other parts of the world" and a closing vignette of a sleeper on a futon, this presents an entirely Eurocentric picture, and Lauber's dismissal of the Middle Ages as only a "bridge" between the ancient and modern worlds is a minority view nowadays. But, these glimpses of what people wore, what they slept on and what shared their beds will please casual browsers. Young readers in search of more specific facts will do better with Ruth Freeman Swain's Bedtime! (1999), illustrated by Cat Bowman Smith. (source list) (Nonfiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416967385
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 1/29/2008
  • Series: Around-the-House History Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,107,159
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Lauber is the author of the Around-the-House series and more than 125 other books for young people. Her Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of St. Helens was a Newbery Honor Book. She lives with her husband and two cats, Beemer and MeToo, in New Canaan, Connecticut.

John Manders uses an old master's technique of layering colored glazes over a monochromatic underpainting and does extensive research for many of his projects. He and his wife, Lisa, live with two dogs and a parrot in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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