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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Two of the Best Books for Bedtime from Karma Wilson and Margaret Wise Brown

Let's all yawn for sleepy time books!Here's my first selection for Something New! Something Old! Paired Picture Book Reviews!

New! Bear Snores On (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2002)
Written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman

What's so great: When you go to look at the Amazon reviews for Bear you'll find nothing but five stars. What is it that everyone enjoys? The gentle humor and sweet rhythm of this book make it a delightful read-aloud. The verbs are snappy and the illustrations are wonderfully expressive. As the story opens, a great big bear snores away as he sleeps in his lair. There is a snowstorm outside and, one by one, little critters seeking refuge find the cave. But Bear snores on. The tension that builds is quiet, and yes, there's a moment of surprise when the bear wakes up, but that tension is quickly blanketed with tenderness as the bear seeks to join his visitors and all settles quickly.

Who might enjoy this: It's recommended for ages 3-7, but I'm willing to bet that the tempo and catchy rhyme of this book would also suit a younger child. In the final scene as be
ar watches on all of his new friends each fall fast asleep.

Something fun to do: Why not have a child close their eyes and then, one by one, pretend to snore the way each of the different animals would. Finish this by saying, "Now, how about a little boy/girl? How do you snore?"

First page: "In a cave in the woods,
In his deep, dark lair,
Through the long, cold winter
Sleeps a great brown bear."

More to know: This is the first of a number of "Bear" stories. It remains my favorite.

Old! Goodnight Moon (Harper & Row Books, 1947)
Written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd
What's so great: Hundreds of five star reviews! Hundreds! the book has been declared a classic and over four million copies have been sold. I actually like what author Susan Cooper has said about this book, that rather than it being a story it is a "deceptively simple ritual." That's exactly what it is. That's what part of sleep training involves, providing a quiet, simple ritual that prepares a child for sleep. I had one daughter who easily went to bed and another who fought sleep as if it were a misery. They both loved this book and they looked carefully at each picture to find the subtle changes on each page.
I do have to comment here about the negative reviews I found. Most people found the book boring and didn't understand it. My very favorite negative review says, "I would definitely pass this book up. The picture on each page is nearly exactly the same as the picture on every other page--and they're all boring. The words are completely uninteresting. One advantage to this book is that it does put you and your baby to sleep." Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees! (Tee hee)
Something fun to do: Before reading, hide a small stuffed mouse. Allow the child to find the mouse before settling in to read the story. Then as you go through the book, find the mouse on each page.

First page: " In the great green room
There was a telephone
And a red balloon
And a picture of --"
More to know: There is a YouTube video that is actually very nicely done:

P.S. (Poems are Swell!)

When the lights go out and your little wormy is still squirmy, why not try a few favorite poems?

Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
Wish I may, wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight

I see the moon and the moon sees me.
God bless the moon and God bless me

Good Night
by Ann and Jane Taylor

Baby, baby, lay your head
On your pretty cradle-bed;
Shut your eye-peeps, now the day
And the light are gone away:
All the clothes are tucked in tight;
Little baby dear, good night

Winky, Blinky
Winky, Blinky, niddy, nod!
Father is fishing off Cape Cod.
Winky, Blinky, sleepy eyes,
Mother is making apple pies.
Cuddle, cuddle, the wind's in the trees:
Brother is sailing over the seas.
Niddy, noddy, up and down,
Sister is making a velvet gown.
Winky, Blink, cannot rise;
What's the matter with Baby's eyes?
Winky, Blinky, cre-cri-creep,
Baby has gone away to sleep.

Do you have a favorite bedtime poem or story? Send it along to me and I'll put it in the next sleepytime blog! kitty241@earthlink.net

1 comment:

  1. Lately little sparrow and I have been enjoying "The Going to Bed Book" by Sandra Boynton. I love the last 2 lines so much: "The moon is high the sea is deep. They rock and rock and rock to sleep." It not only calms baby down, but also momma.