My Pillow Keeps Moving! By Laura Gehl

My Pillow Keeps Moving!
By Laura Gehl, illustrated by Christopher Weyant
Viking, 2018

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It's a cold winter day outside the Pillow Palace as Laura Gehl's delightful My Pillow Keeps Moving begins, and a dog and cat are huddling together against the chill. The dog decides to go into the shop and flop down in a pile of pillows just as a portly mustachioed man enters the shop, looking for a “guaranteed soft and cuddly” pillow. When he leaves, the little dog is in his shopping bag – the chilly cat watching in dismay. 

But things don't go smoothly back at home! The man's new pillow might be soft and cuddly, but it also keeps moving – sometimes under the man's head, sometimes at the foot of the bed. When the man goes to the Furniture Barn for a footstool, similar problems crop up: it starts barking and howling! And things hit rock bottom when the man takes home his new purchase from the Jacket Emporium; he goes back to make an irate complaint:

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“My jacket is STINKY!”

“Sir, is your jacket warm?” asks the smarmy salesman.  

“Yes, but ...” 

“Is your jacket cozy?”

 “Yes, but … oh, I GIVE UP!” 

The man decides that his jacket looks more like a Jackie, and suddenly a friendship blooms. And the poor cat left out in the cold? Let's just say a visit to the Hat Factory doesn't go exactly as planned. 

New Yorker bet Christopher Weyant fills the pages of My Pillow Keeps Moving with bright colors and such clear sight-lines that the story would be completely understandable with no text at all – and Laura Gehl's text has a simple charm that will make it a natural to read out loud to young readers. And the underlying message – that we sometimes complain at first about changes will end up liking very much – will resonate with readers of all ages. As for the specter of dogs and cats as close pals, well … 

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Steve Donoghue was a founding editor of Open Letters Monthly. His book criticism has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, and the American Conservative. He writes regularly for the National, the Washington Post, the Vineyard Gazette, and the Christian Science Monitor. His website is