28 April 2010

Bedtime Story Challenge

The full title to this challenge is actually "I Can't Fall Asleep, Read Me a Bedtime Story Challenge."

There is an art to the Bedtime Story.  If you are a parent reading to your kids you may have to read this book dozens of times (maybe hundreds) so you need to be able to stand reading it over and over and over and over and over.  If you are reading aloud to an adult this book needs to keep both of your attention long enough to get really sleepy and the reader cannot be bored because the reader cannot, under any circumstances, fall asleep first (kids poke you and it's dangerous to fall asleep under a big book --yes, I know this from experience --The Unabridged Sherlock Holmes Collection hurts.)

Tell us your favorite stories to read aloud.  Tell us the stories that are better when you are listening to them.  Go one step further --grab someone and read to them-- and tell us how it goes.  We look forward to reading your comments --and adding to our book lists!

Please use the following format for your comment:
Title of Book, Author, and your thoughts on the book.


  1. Fox in Sox
    by Dr Seuss

    Just try saying "Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew. While these fleas flew, freezy breeze blew. Freezy breeze made these three trees freeze. Freezy trees made these trees' cheese freeze. That's what made these three free fleas sneeze."

    This book keeps me awake.

  2. Toot & Puddle by Hollie Hobbie
    This is the PERFECT bedtime story. 1. The girls love it. 2. I love it 3. Great artwork 4. Great characters --two pigs, one who loves travel and one who is a home body 5. Great story 6. The last page has them tucked into bed, saying "Good Night" to each other

    I love listening to classics read aloud --some I can listen to OVER AND OVER...

  3. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
    by Bill Martin, John Archambault, Lois Ehlert
    There are literally hundreds of wonderful bedtime stories I love to read aloud, but this one is a favorite b/c of the cutie-pies in my life. We've made our own poetic rendition and sometimes are known to have outbursts of "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!" (in our eclectic, funkified rendition) whether we've got the book in hand or not. I love the part where all the letters fall out of the tree... for some reason when reading aloud, the cadence becomes very bluesy at this point.

  4. The Giving Tree
    by Shel Silverstein

    I couldn't pass up the opportunity to reflect on all of the times the little sweeties & I have read this one aloud... it touches my heart with its bittersweet message every single read and sometimes, we have tears. It is a story to read a life long... aloud is best.

  5. While we have scads of books, and love them, we have been developing an oral family tradition to go along with the book reading. One of our friends suggested telling a story, with the main character being your child's name spelled backwards.

    Once upon a time there was a boy named Nyf, who lived with his mama and papa, who loved him very much. And his two pussycats, do you remember their names? That's right, Xam and Ykcul. One day Nyf put on his magic slippers and...

    Usually this story retells the adventures we had during the day. Maybe someday it will be a book!

  6. "Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze" by Patricia Thomas

    I read this book a million times to my brother and sister when we were young and thanks to my Mom's incredible saving skills, I now am reading it to my kids. The "giraffe bending in half" and the "alligator's snout turning inside out" never cease to make my kids giggle. It is a fun read and the illustrations are so detailed.

    After all the giggles are out we have to bring it back down with a more soothing book like:
    Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.

    Even though we have at least three copies of this book (I think each of the kids has received one at some point or another) we don't even need them anymore because we have it memorized and just recite it aloud in unison. Then we all sigh contentedly after the last line, "Goodnight noises everywhere." Brown is a master at creating sentences for sleep.

  7. Clotilde by Jack Kent.

    This is a WONDERful book. I quote the flap the inside flap of the jacket:

    A stubborn boy and his sister meet a most unusual fairy godmother, who is tiny enough to sit on a daisy and who offers astonishing proof that this old world really is a magic place."

    Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to find a copy of this book if you don't already have one. (Anyone up for a book-finding quest?)

  8. Peter Berlinghof11:45 AM

    "Little Bear" by Else Holmelund Minarik (illustrations by Maurice Sendak)

    The stories are simple and so endearing. Little Bear and his friends are sincere, caring, curious and very sweet. Something about the stories and illustrations feels very old-fashioned and comfortable. The language is simple and direct, and the stories often end with Mother Bear tucking Little Bear in to bed.

    A favorite in our home at bedtime.

  9. Here's a Little Poem........Collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Peters
    I LOVE this book just before i go to bed because the rythem makes me close my eyes and dream about wonderful things.

  10. There are three story books that come to my mind and heart. As a mommy, the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams and Corduroy by Don Freeman and as a nana, Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney.

    The illustrations are sweetly done. All are loving, warm, and cuddly just like bedtime!

  11. my favorite bed time story is when my dad tells me a story. i could probably write a book from the stories he told me, from the story of the giant orange (my favorite story of his) to the time he camped out on frankfurt beach with nothing but a fishing pole and pocket knife. so, remember this when you see the newberry winner kids-book, DAD'S STORIES by .....

  12. another favorite is Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback. the pictues and pattern never get old.

  13. Kat Doroan12:43 PM

    I'm going to have to say Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. I could read that story a million times and never get tired of it.
    It's always been one of my favorites but reading it to my son (many times already, and many more to come I hope) has rekindled my love for this story.

  14. Joseph Doroan (age 6)6:27 PM

    Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

    I like this book because it's amazing. It has lots and lots of different things. My favorite character is Mr. Fox because he gets all the food from everybody. The three farmers are not very nice at all. It's my mom's book.

  15. Lauren enjoys the Chronicles of Prydain at bedtime. Mama snuggles in bed with her and reads them. When asked why she likes them at bedtime she says she doesn't know: "I just like them!" Mama thinks it's partly because there's snuggling involved!

  16. Anonymous5:10 PM

    books are great!

  17. Anonymous8:47 AM

    In the Night Kitchen and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

    Also, Charlie Parker plays Bee-Bop by Chris Raschka

    We loved to read all those books so much that we memorized them just so we could recite them and enjoy them when we didn't have the books with us.

  18. I only ever read aloud at story time and always select books about animals, which rhyme or allows for a lot of sound affects or suspense as pages turn.
    Lynley dodd writes great rhyming picture books starring animals with scarface claw being my favourite.

    I only listen to audio books in the car, definitely preferring those read by someone with a great accent.
    Faye kellerman's murder mysteries are narrated well and became very addicted to Julia Spencer-Flemings titles set in the adirondacks starring an episcoplian minister. Can pronounce those two terms now too. Would listen to anything stephen fry read and love a good Scottish, welsh or Irish accent.

    A great junior audio book was Cairo Jim by Geoffrey mcskimming, I think the word puns work much better when heard than read and I love talking animals!