I was about to read this sweet story tonight when my oldest asked to read it to us (a first!). He did so with incredible fluidity and expressiveness and I’m so very, very surprised and delighted.
Although we haven’t read it very often, both of my boys really enjoy this book, which winds down a busy day of work and play by saying goodnight to big trucks one by one. My youngest noted of the picture above that the crane truck has a teddy bear to cuddle, a star for if he wakes up in the night, and that he looks very happy. Me too.
Author: Sherri Duskey
Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld
Where and what can a home be? Some of Ms. Ellis’ answers are conventional (for example, a nest), others are pure fantasy (see the picture above). Her drawings are deceptively-simple and peaceful–perfect for before bed. But what gives the boys the most pleasure is that every double-page spread in this book contains a dove. Sometimes the dove is easy to spot. Sometimes it is very well hidden. The boys always love finding it.
Author: Carson Ellis
Illustrator: Carson Ellis
Posted in Picture Books
Tagged Animals, Architecture, bedtime, Carson Ellis, city, Diverse Books, fairy tale, France, Home, Japan, Kenya, Mythology, Norse, Russia, Slovakia, USA
A little dragon is very excited about his favorite bedtime story. So excited that whenever his sleepy mama finishes it he has the same request: “Again!” When she finally falls asleep, things get surprisingly… heated.
The boys love yelling along with the little dragon (to the point where my husband came racing in recently wondering what was wrong). Channeling the dragon mother’s renditions of the ever-evolving (and shrinking) bedtime story is lots of fun, and there is a physical (die-cut) surprise at the end of the book that never fails to amuse us all.
Author: Emily Gravett
Illustrator: Emily Gravett
In the words of my youngest: “I love this one! The tiger eats everything!” Charming, very British, and perfect for before bed.
Author: Judith Kerr
Illustrator: Judith Kerr
Once upon a time, a merchant asked his three daughters
what he should bring them from the city. The first asked
for pearls, the second for gold, but the youngest longed for
a singing lark. The merchant found a gold necklace and a
bracelet of gold, but there were no songbirds to be had for love
or money that winter.
He turned towards home, sorry to disappoint his youngest
daughter. The road took him past a fine castle, with a grand
garden full of spring flowers in spite of the winter snows. At the
top of a laurel tree, a lark sang.
While the boys show polite interest in The Magic Nesting Doll, by the same author and illustrator, they adore this book (which combines and reworks elements of The Singing, Springing Lark; Beauty and the Beast; and East of the Sun, West of the Moon). They each want a copy of their own and I can absolutely see why. (It is gorgeous. Plus, lions and dragons and griffins. Oh, my!) My oldest enjoys pointing out the plot follows the Frozen principle of getting to know someone before marrying them and my youngest repeatedly (forcefully) requests it as a bedtime story.
Author: Laurel Long and Jacqueline K. Ogburn/The Grimm Brothers
Illustrator: Laurel Long
Posted in Picture Books
Tagged Animals, Beauty and the Beast, bedtime, East of the Sun West of the Moon, fairy tale, frozen, garden, Grimm Brothers, Jacqueline K. Ogburn, Laurel Long, out of print, The Lady & the Lion, The Magic Nesting Doll, The Singing Springing Lark, translated
Here is the key to the house.
In the house burns a light.
In that light rests a bed.
On that bed waits a book.
The books I highlight around Mother’s Day are typically ones that the boys don’t like quite as much as I do. This book is different; for a while the boys actively disliked it. I find it to be very beautiful and soothing (and it was a present from a family member who inscribed our copy), so I didn’t get rid of it, but I did put it away for a few years.
Author: Susan Marie Swanson
Illustrator: Beth Krommes
You could say that this book tells a simple story about the quiet routine of a grandfather. Or you could say that it is about cosmic matters of great significance. Either way, you’d be right.
Like When the Sun Rose, by the same author/illustrator, this book is peaceful and quiet and absolutely beautiful. And, also just like Sun Rose, the boys just aren’t that interested in it (perhaps because it dreamlike and has very few words).
Author: Barbara Helen Berger
Illustrator: Barbara Helen Berger
A boy was collecting pinecones in
his wagon when he met a robot.
A boy and robot meet, bond, are temporarily confused by ill-timed power outages and sleep, then play happily ever after. This sweet book allows you to break out your best robot voice and is perfect for bedtime.
When I was a kid, Calvin and Hobbes was the highlight of the comics page. When this big box set came out in paperback a bit over two years ago, I pounced. Last year, I started reading it to my oldest before bed. Now he is devouring it without me (but he loves to show me the strips he thinks are the funniest, like the one above).
Author: Bill Watterson
Illustrator: Bill Watterson
Elliot is a tiny, pastel-spotted, New-York-City-dwelling elephant. He generally works around his size limitations, but often goes unnoticed and is nearly overcome by loneliness (and cupcake cravings) until he finds “someone even littler than himself, who had an even bigger problem.” In helping this someone (an adorable white mouse), Elliot’s problems are solved. This deeply cute book manages to stop short of being saccharine and is very popular.
Author: Mike Curato
Illustrator: Mike Curato