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In this section we have brought together some of our favourite bedtime reads that we hope will become yours too.
With a gentle rhyming text that makes it a particular pleasure to read this picture book, though it’s perfect bedtime reading, ends as dawn breaks. Everyone is fast sleep but Little Owl has work to do: she must fly right around the world blowing out the stars, one by one. From Africa to Antarctica the animals are snoozing when Little Owl spots a shooting star and follows it across jungles and deserts until she finally catches up with it just before the sun rises. Migy Blanco’s illustrations capture the vastness of the night sky, but Little Owl remains a friendly, reassuring presence. After such an exciting journey little children will be happy to snuggle down, but this could also be the ideal book to read over breakfast. ~ Andrea Reece
Tufty the little duck grows up in the grounds of Buckingham Palace (his parents are very fond of the Royal Duck and Duckess (sic) who give the ducks their breakfast!). When winter comes, the duck family flies south but little Tufty gets lost as they navigate the city and is found by a homeless man who looks after him in in his den in a chestnut tree until it’s spring again. Tufty goes home but, when he falls in love, takes his new partner back to live with his old friend in the woods. Michael Foreman’s delicate pencil and watercolour illustrations make the grounds of Buckingham Palace, the glass towers of the city and the rich colours of the chestnut woods glow as brightly as Tufty’s feathers, and he fills this little story with drama and heart. ~ Andrea Reece
This brightly illustrated picture book is a celebration of the enduring love that surrounds your children, wherever they are in the world. The families we meet represent the wonderful diversity that make our world what it is and show that there is nothing to fear from differences. It is also a reminder to children that love is around them, especially in times of worry or fear. This book is suitable for new parents and babies, as well as for children embarking on big changes and adventures, who may benefit from this lovely reminder of the permanence of love. A beautiful message to share with young children.
This classic children’s book looks wonderful in its new edition and has lost none of its effectiveness as a book to lull children to sleep. As he snuggles down in bed, a little rabbit quietly and methodically says goodnight to all the familiar objects in his room, to his comb and his brush, to the quiet old lady whispering ‘hush’, and finally to the stars and the air, ‘goodnight noises everywhere’. The poetry of the words demands to be read in a hushed singsong, and the equally quiet and gentle illustrations make this a perfect bedtime book. This edition also features some very helpful tips on helping children to fall asleep from an expert sleep consultant. ~ Andrea Reece
A wholesome hygiene message about how, when and why to wash your hands is here delivered through irreverent loo, poo and goo humour (even the queen gets slimed!) that’s sure to appeal to seven+ year-olds. Pands is woefully resistant to washing his hands. In fact, he “believed washing dirt off his skin was a bad thing.” But thankfully his brother Seb comes to the rescue as a hygiene Superhero, armed with an antibacterial cape and the knowledge that “germs were nasty and cruel”. Seb’s mission to persuade Pands to clean up his act begins at home (the detailed cross-section of their slide down a toilet pipe is sure to raise a few eyebrows and elicit some grins), before he undertakes an epic quest save the earth from succumbing to an invasion of zombiegerms. This provides parents and teachers with an original way to teach kids about hygiene, with the glossary and hand-washing instructions that follow the story delivered in the same comic style. Joanne Owen, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
A reissue to mark the 10th Anniversary of this absolutely delightful picture book. The opposing emotions of happiness and sadness are conveyed quite beautifully throughout Augustus’s story until at last his smile returns because he starts looking at the wonderful world around him. Augustus and His Smile was the well-deserved winner of the ‘Early Years – Best New Illustrator Award’ and was shortlisted for the 2007 Greenaway Medal. The Greenaway Judges' comment: A very fresh and appealing book which makes good use of mixed media to convey the feel of a real tiger. Rayner’s broad loose strokes reflect the beauty of the animal, and give him real expression and emotion: so much is conveyed in the flick of his tail. The whole has a Zen-like simplicity but it is also a very physical book which draws you in. There is real artistic skill here and great maturity of style.
This is the 25th anniversary board book edition of this bestselling title which well-deserves its classic status. It has become the staple of pre-school life across the globe. Told in a simple rhythmic text that's full of action and it is matched by Helen Oxenbury’s wonderful illustrations which perfectly capture the fun and the wide range of emotions of the family day out that the story encompasses. There is a new website celebrating 25 years Bear Hunting - visit www.jointhebearhunt.com for everything a bear hunter could need including activities, videos, competitions and tour dates. The book has sold in nearly 30 countries and in over 20 languages.
Five tales pefect for bedtime, handsomely packaged in a gift box to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Usborne Publishing. Each hardback book is colourfully illustrated and has a ribbon page marker. Excellent value but great quality too. These sturdy hardback books in a slipcase make a perfect gift at any time of the year.
STOP PRESS: You have probably seen the Christmas TV ad for Moz the Monster. It looks to us as though the inspiration for it may well have come from Chris Riddell's debut picture book which was published a number of years ago. Let us know what you think through Lovereading4kids Facebook or via Twitter. It's a wonderful picture book and one of the best bedtime reads you can imagine. You can also read an extract right here to see for yourself just how good it is or indeed whether you think Mr Underbed has any similarities at all to Moz. Award-winning Chris Riddell tells a witty and inventive story that is perfect for bedtime. When Mr Underbed pops up from under Jim’s bed asking for somewhere more comfortable to sleep, Jim offers him some space. But soon Jim finds he has a bed-full of new arrivals – and nowhere for himself! Chris Riddell’s original characters are a delight.
First published in 1983 and still as good today. Written by Lynley Dodd, who is a New Zealander, this is the first in a series of books about the adventures of a scruffy dog ‘Hairy McClary’. Rhyming, catchy and comical with brilliant characters and plots. And just so you know a ‘dairy’ in New Zealand is a corner shop.
Bedtime is a special time and we all have our favourite books that we love to read over and over....but sometimes we need new recommendations, and that is where we come in!
All bedtime routines are different. Some have a bath, others a warm drink but the best routines end with a cuddle and a good book.