Monday, September 3, 2007

Bedtime Books for the Bedtime-Resistant Toddler

My toddler LOVES to be read to before she goes to bed, but lately we read many books, and she STILL doesn't want to go to bed. My husband and I have been very bad parents. Reading book after book after book makes you want to scream sometimes (especially when it's the same books over and over again). On a recent trip to the library, I chose a whole stack of books, two of which specifically were about bedtime. Well, they were both a hoot. They had my daughter and I both laughing a whole lot about how the characters in the books didn't want to go to bed.

Bedtime book #1:

Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!
words and pictures by Mo Willems

Hyperion, 2006
What I loved about this book:

It's so simplistic. Let's face it, the pigeon books by Willems should take the prize for brevity and humor.

There is a human, male character at the beginning of the book that talks to the reader from the very beginning. He instructs the reader "don't let the pigeon stay up late." So the reader, in my case, the toddler actually gets to listen to the pigeon give all of his excuses of why he doesn't want to go to bed. And there are pages where the pigeon acts like the reader is talking to him and telling him he has to go to bed.

What a fun bedtime book! It make my toddler laugh at the pigeon who is doing the very same thing that the pigeon is doing!!

Bedtime book #2

by Geoffrey Kloske and Barry Blitt
Atheneum, 2005
This is another great bedtime story. It starts out with an introduction of sorts. A child wants story after story after story. The child doesn't want to go to bed. Finally, the father starts making the stories shorter and shorter and shorter, just to get through them. This is a collection of familiar stories, mostly fairy tales and familiar rhymes. The essence of the story is retained, but the stories are VERY brief. They are so brief, they are humorous.
What I loved:
I loved the fact that this proved I'm not the only parent who rushes through stories some nights just to get through them so my daughter will go to bed. I LOVE storytime and I LOVE to read wonderful picture books, but sometimes after I've read the same wonderful story for the 40th time that week, I want to get through it.
Stories that are abbreviated and make MOST hilarious include: Chicken Little, The TWO little pigs (HA! Even the number of characters is shortened), Princess Pea, The Little Red Hen, and many more.
At the end of some of the stories there is even a interjection or two to the listener--go to bed!! My favorite one is at the end of "Princess Pea." "Is there a pea under your bed? Then what's your excuse? Go to bed." It made my reluctant toddler laugh about going to bed. This book couldn't be more fun!
This was a library book we checked out, but we will be buying our own copy of this book. It's too funny not to have on hand when I really need to use it.
This book is also a 2007-2008 Virginia Readers' Choice selection for the primary age group.

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