Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Review: Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban (recommended for ages 4-8)

I'd seen the title of Bedtime for Frances around and when it appeared in Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook (highly recommend!), I borrowed it from the library. To my surprise, I found out that Frances is quite a demanding little bugger and quite adept at delaying her bedtime.

I like the inclusion of time and the alphabet in this book, but really don't want to put the idea in my kids' heads that if they get out of bed, and Mommy and Daddy are eating cake, they'll get a piece, too. Oh, no. Mother and Father Badger are much more accommodating than I am. Once 7:30 p.m. rolls around, I am done. D.O.N.E., done. And I'm not sharing the chocolate ice cream I've been squirreling away and looking forward to since 6 a.m. when the kids woke me up.

After a long time of putting off bedtime, Father Badger eventually loses his patience and resorts to threatening. Now that I can relate to! Finally, a glimpse of reality. And it works, too. Frances actually stays in bed.

The book does encourage kids to face fears and ends with Frances realizing it's "my job to sleep," but I'm not willing to risk that line flying over E.'s head and all the rest of the delay tactics and fears sinking in. My sanity depends on that strict bedtime. My alone time with my husband does as well. And my bowl of ice cream. Sorry, Frances. You're cute, but not cute enough.

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