Monday, January 16, 2012

Bedtime Board Books

Yawn. Sally Symes. Illustrated by Nick Sharratt. 2011. (December 2011) Candlewick Press. 24 pages.

Sean gave a yawn while sitting on his mat. Guess who he gave it to. A Scruffy, fluffy.....cat.

Yawn is probably my favorite and best of the bedtime board books I'll be reviewing today. What do I love about it? Well, it is fun and playful. There is a story to it. (It's not just describing the nightly rituals or routines of bedtime: taking a bath, brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, hearing a story, getting kissed, etc.) And board books with story are a good thing! But the thing I probably love most about this one is the rhyming! The rhyming helps little ones predict who will yawn next. I also enjoyed the ending...where readers see all the animals who've caught the yawn, snuggling up with Sean in his bed. For all these animals are his toys. I thought that was clever and fun! I also liked how baby-friendly this one was. There is a large die-cut hole that is the yawn for the characters. This book serves as a dare to parents to read it without yawning.

Read Yawn
  • If you're looking for a GREAT bedtime story in board book format to share with little ones
  • If you're looking for a great story with some predictability and repeat value to it
Noodle Loves Bedtime. Nosy Crow. Illustrated by Marion Billet. 2011. (September 2011). Candlewick Press. 10 pages.

Noodle loves to splash.
Noodle loves to drink.
Noodles loves toothpaste and brushing at the sink.
Noodle loves to snuggle with a soft, fluffy sheep.
And just like Noodle, you love to sleep!

If you're looking for a super-short, super-simple board book about bedtime routines, then Noodle Loves Bedtime might be the one for you. Noodle is a new character--a panda, of course--that will be the star in several board books.

I am not a fan of Noodle--not yet anyway. While Noodle Loves Bedtime doesn't make the mistake of being sickeningly sweet and cute, it does lack story, in my opinion. This one shares very simple statements about bedtime with children, but they're not very entertaining statements. The back of the book uses exclamation points to sell you on the idea that this is a great book because it has "objects to spot and name" with your toddler. But any illustrated book features objects that you can spot and name.

Noodle Loves Bedtime is a touch and feel book. But not all of the touch-and-feel elements are truly touch-and-feel. (Shiny isn't so much a texture to feel. Yes, your eyes can see that the bubbles have shine to them. And the bottle texture is unlike any bottle I've ever seen. The two best touch-and-feel elements are probably the sticky-sticky toothpaste and the soft, fluffy sheep. The book also includes a mirror.)

Read Noodle Loves Bedtime
  • If your little one just LOVES pandas
  • If your little one just loves touch-and-feel books
  • If you're looking for a quick bedtime story to share with little ones;
Good Night, I Love You. Caroline Jayne Church. 2012. Scholastic. 20 pages.


It's time for bed, so let's get ready.
Bring your bunny. Bring your teddy.
Bath fun at the end of the day!
Laugh, splash, giggle, and play!

I liked this one. I did. I liked it. Illustrations are very subjective, I know. And chances are you'll either love these by Caroline Jayne Church...or you won't. You might think they are a little too sweet, a little too cute. But. For me, they are just right. I just love the way she illustrates her books. I love the way she draws children!

Good Night, I Love You does rhyme. And it is a pleasant enough rhyme. This one does focus more on bedtime rituals than a true story. But because of all the details, because of all the descriptions--laughing, splashing, giggling, etc. I don't seem to mind it as much.

Read Good Night, I Love You
  • If you're looking for a cute, rhyming bedtime story to share with your little ones
The Things I Love About Bedtime. Trace Moroney. 2012. Scholastic. 16 pages.

I love bedtime, and these are things I love most...
I have a bath,
brush my teeth...
and put on my favorite pajamas.
Mom pretends she is a huggle-monster and chases me into bed, and gives me a great....big....hug!
I snuggle into bed with my teddy-bunny and Dad reads me a story.
Then we talk about the best moments of my day....

The Things I Love About Bedtime actually surprised me with the amount of text it has! I was expecting it to be simple and cutesy. Now, this one does have those super-cutesy moments--think Guess How Much I Love You--but it offers more than just sentimental sweetness. I was expecting it to be a little more like Jane Yolen's Good Night, Little Bunny. It is probably the longest and most complex of the board books I'm sharing today. Which might make it more appropriate for a slightly older little one. (The pages of this board book are a little thinner as well, though they are still thicker than ordinary paper in 'gentle' books.)

Read The Things I Love About Bedtime
  • If you're looking for a board book about bedtime routines--happy, calm, safe, gentle, sweet routines.
  • If you're little one loves bunnies
  • If you're looking for a bedtime story with a little more substance
  • If you're looking for bedtime books that feature both a mom and dad

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Andi 9:56 AM  

Yay! This is soooo timely. My son is in a great routine and has no problems going to bed, but he's also getting to an age when instituting a before-bed story time would help nurture his love of books. Really excited to add some of these to our bookshelves. :)

cessie 11:52 AM  

OH I love the Yawn book, it sounds so cute and useful too. I think I will try and find it here for my brother's little ones, he's thinking to learn them a bit of English (we're Dutch) on the go (great plan I think).
And I love to read to kids so I guess I will be reading them a bit as well ;)

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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