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Posts Tagged ‘Bedtime Book’


Read Tuesday Night

Three Cheers for Errol by Babette Cole

I received this book as a present many, many (many!) years ago when I was young. I still like it to this day, and I’m glad I have the chance to share it with Water Boy.

Errol the Rat is not a straight A student, and he comes from an inner-city school that isn’t too great. He’s barely a C student most of the time, and people make fun of him and call him dumb. But the one thing he is good at, is Sports! When the annual Ratatholon comes around, Errol is chosen to represent his school, facing off against the best student rat-athletes in the city. Of course, those athletes have other plans for Errol, leading him to hurt himself. But Errol finds a way to use his mind to overcome his physical setbacks and show them all!

I love books about sports, first of all. I think kids today need that extra push to get outside and play, and if it’s through a book about rat athletes, so be it. This book has some serious themes (the opponent rats really do physically injure Errol) but it’s also about being physically as well as mentally smart. There can not be enough books out there about finding new ways to appreciate and use your body, and to think in new and different ways when trying to solve difficult problems.

This book has simple sentences and is a quick read. The pictures are brightly colored and the rat characters are fun to look at. I would recommend it for any age reader, although older children might find it too quick a read.

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Read Sunday Night

Opposites by Sandra Boynton

I liked this book a lot. A very simple book showing opposites and the words. Hot and Cold, Wet and Dry, etc. The art style is really fun to me, and who doesn’t love reading a book full of cool animals. Giraffes, elephants, bunnies, they all make the pages of this book. There are a few funny scenes, too, like the one on the cover showing the poor bunny stuck on the seesaw. Kids just eat that stuff up.

There’s really not much to say about it, I think it does its job well. It’s not really a story, but unlike My Very First Book of Shapes, there’s enough shown through illustrations that you could definitely add your own narrative.

Stillmog is especially good at this. I have a tendency to read word for word from the page, which is usually fine, but I think sometimes his version is more interesting than mine for Water Boy. I’m better at voices and sound effects, though.

I recommend this book for toddlers and pre-readers. I think an older reader would probably find the word simplicity pretty boring.

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Read Friday Night

The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base

Oh Graeme Base, with your intricate pictures and interesting stories. We’ve ended up with several of your books, and that’s a good thing. But I get so distracted by the pictures that reading them for Water Boy takes twice as long as necessary!

In The Eleventh Hour, several party animals are invited to Horace the Elephant’s eleventh birthday. They play hide-and-seek, poker, and pool, among other things, all while in costume dress. The Zebra comes as a Punk and the Swan as a Princess, for instance. They are anxious to eat the birthday feast Horace has prepared for them, but wind up disappointed! It’s discovered at the end of the book that someone has stolen and eaten the beautiful feast that was laid out waiting for them! They sorrowfully eat plains sandwiches and wonder amongst themselves who could have eaten the wonderful food.

This would seem like story enough for anyone, but you now have the opportunity to solve the mystery! Hidden on each page are clues to solving the case of the feast thief, and it’s as though you’re reading a story within a story. At the very end of the book is a sealed section that you must open to finish the entire mystery, adding a whole new dimension to an already great experience. The story is written in rhyming couplets, which adds a nice touch. I once again highly recommend this book by Graeme Base for readers of all ages.

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Read Thursday Night

Tuesday by David Wiesner

This a great book for using your storytelling skills. The only words it contains are those telling you what time of the night it is. Everything else is expressed through beautiful pictures depicting, of all things, flying frogs. Or should I say, levitating? They float around on their lily pads, causing chaos and surreal scenes, such as the one where they are casually watching late night television with an elderly woman, cool as cucumbers.

Narrate some funny stories for you child, or let them do it for you. All in all, a very imagination-sparking “read” and good for any age.

(As an added bonus, for those of you who love Futurama, the frogs look an awful lot like the infamous Hypno Toad.)

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There was no bedtime book tonight, but it wasn’t my fault, I swear! Blame Stillmog, he worked some crazy sorcery on Water Boy and put him under for the night.

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Read Tuesday Night

The Three Wishes by M. Jean Craig

I didn’t enjoy this book very much at all. I think it’s actually based off of a folk tale, but I wasn’t thrilled with the story and feel that it really isn’t worth a re-read. A woodcutter comes across a tree he’d like to cut, but the fairy the tree belongs to begs him to spare it. When he agrees, she grants him three wishes. He goes home to his wife, and they sit thinking about all the things they’d like to wish for.

They end up making very silly wishes by accident, leading to a possible moral of “Be Happy With What You Have”, “Watch What You Say”, or maybe, “In the End, All Anyone Needs is a Big Sausage.”

The story is overly-simplistic while still being a very long read. I’m sure most kids will laugh about the funny things that happen because of the wishes, but I felt that it really didn’t reflect well on either character, and wasn’t a very entertaining read. Personally, I would skip it.

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Read Thursday Night

Good Morning, Chick by Mirra Ginsburg

This is a cute little farm book, perfect for toddlers. With short, simple, yet descriptive sentences, it’s perfect for pre-readers with short attentions spans. It also has a good prompting system, describing something, “The chick fell in the pond.” Then on the page showing him falling in the pond, it will say, “Like this.” above the action. It’s a good reminder for parents to not only read, but interact with the book.

Pointing out the objects and characters being described by the words is important to your toddler, so that they can make the connection between the two. Often times, they are merely listening to the sound of your voice while looking at pretty pictures, and not really internalizing that a chick is that fluffy yellow guy on the page. This book is a good way to introduce a small picture of farm life, and enjoy a little adventure with a brand new chick.

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