Nov 4, 2012

Fall Back- Into Bedtime Picture Books!

Did you set your clocks back and enjoy an extra hour of sleep? This is when it's payback time for Daylight Savings, right?
Combine those longer, darker evenings with a celebration of International Picture Book Month, and we have the perfect week to focus on several outstanding bedtime books, with one surprise title featured at the end.
Candlewick, 2010

If your bedtime kiddos have a bit of difficulty winding down, the perfect choice for them is INTERRUPTING CHICKEN by David Ezra Stein. This 2011 Caldecott Honor Book stars Chicken and Papa Chicken. This little clucker knows his stories forward and backward, including when the characters need a little help. He interrupts to warn them about wicked witches, big bad wolves, and false alarms until Papa calls it quits. When Chicken tries to read to Papa, his snores disrupt the story!
Check out what BookDads blog had to say about it.

Beach Lane Books, 2012

If your sleepy time guy or gal uses bedtime to unpack the day, Mem Fox has created another wondrous title with the help of illustrator Lauren Stringer. In TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAY TODAY the  bedtime boy loves everything about going to bed, especially the way his menagerie of stuffed animals take turns describing their problems and solutions. Once it's his turn he looks back and sees" the who, the what, the why, and the way their whole wild day turned out okay." The reviewer over at KissTheBook loved it as much as I do!

G.P. Putnam, 1994
Everyone goes to sleep with a smile when bedtime includes GOOD NIGHT, GORILLA, by Peggy Rathmann. With a minimum of text and a maximum of humor, this little gem is a favorite that suits the advice to read early and read often. You never outgrow your need for Gorilla!
Awards included:
• ALA Notable Children's Book for 1994
• Bulletin Blue Ribbon 1994
• Horn Book Fanfare 1995 selection
• Parenting Magazine "Best Children's Books of 1994"
• New York Public Library 1995 "Children's Books 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing"

While you're at it, plan to include Rathmann's TEN MINUTES TILL BEDTIME and visit her Hamster website. My advice on these two Rathmann titles?  Make it a Gorilla night when time is limited and a Hamster night when you've got minutes to spare.  Both are loaded with visual talking points and triggers for further investigation and fun.

Chronicle Books, 2011

Even the frilliest fairy princess sleepers will be won over by the touching and lovable personified machines in GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE, By Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. Each brief verse depicts a major construction machine's job, exhausting day, and bedtime habits. The blend of animation and realism make these "characters" very endearing and appealing.
 For a more detailed description of this bright little book, check out this Kirkus Review.

Penguin Books for Young Readers, 2005

Remember the promised bonus title?  Here it is, and you won't be disappointed. The early sunset means an "extra" hour of brightness in the mornings, too. What better way to start the day than with a picture book?
One big yellow example of that is Anne Rockwell's GOOD MORNING, DIGGER illustrated by Melanie Hope Greenberg. In this case the big yellow digger creates a hole next door that grows into a community center. In this case each "character" retains it's "machine" identity, yet the text sings with rhythm, patterns, gutteral sounds, and delightful appeal even though it is not rhymed text. A great way to start the day on an appreciative but lively note.

Care to share any of your family's favorite bedtime titles?


  1. What a great selection of bedtime reads, Sandy! Goodnight Lulu is another book that used to be my daughter's favourite when she was about 4. We still go to bed with it sometimes (she's 7 now), and the retains its gentle charm on her! I've pasted the Amazon link here.

  2. Richa, thanks for stopping by, and for mentioning Lulu! Somehow that title never crossed my radar, and it is now on my hold list at the library. I love the description of the endpapers shifting from victim to empowered! What a way terrific message to send kids to their dreams at night.


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