I remember reading this book as a child in the early- to mid-90s. A little boy is woken by someone (possibly a talking owl?) who takes him on a journey by causing his bed to fly to different parts of the world.

The boy is shown several scenes of environmental degradation (I recall deforestation and a landfill), as well as some of the wonders of the natural world (I recall redwood forests). The scene I remember most vividly was the bed flying through clouds at night to reveal a bay with bio-luminescent creatures.

The overall message of the book was one of environmentalism, to teach children about the wonders of our planet and the need to take care of it.

It was a large-format picture book with perhaps 20 to 30 pages. I may have seen it on Reading Rainbow, and I recall that it had won some awards for children's books. The picture style was very painterly and realistic.

1 Answer 1


Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg perhaps?

Front cover of Just a Dream

When it comes to the environment, young Walter is not an enlightened individual. He's a litterbug who believes sorting trash is a big waste of time. What's more, he thinks his friend's birthday present, a tree, is the most ridiculous gift he's ever seen.

Walter believes the future is going to be wonderful, filled with robots and other amazing inventions. One night while lying in bed, Walter wishes he could visit the future. He falls asleep and his wish comes true. But the world Walter sees is not exactly what he'd imagined. When he returns to the present, he is changed and so are his dreams.

It seems the bed more teleports from space to space, but the illustrations and the narrative do occasionally have it floating.

Reading of the Book

Found with a search for site:goodreads.com environmentalism bed. It looks like The Internet Archive has a copy.

I'm not 100% certain of what awards that particular book has accrued, but Allsburg wrote several books that are fairly famous such as Jumanji, The Polar Express, and Zathura, the first two netting him Caldecott medals.

  • That's it! The image I remember is shown in the video around 9:51.
    – LShaver
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 19:20

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