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Bedtime for Frances (Frances the Badger)

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  20,798 Ratings  ·  219 Reviews
It may be bedtime for Frances, but that does not mean Frances is ready to go to bed - not by a long shot. First she must have a glass of milk and make certain Mother and Father have each kissed her good night (twice). Then she is ready to imagine there is a tiger in her room, and a giant, and...each time Frances thinks up something new, off she goes to tell her ever-patien ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 13th 1995 by HarperFestival (first published 1960)
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Community Reviews

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On the surface the story and the illustrations are cute, but the underlying philosophy isn't a match for little ones I care for.

I have two problems with the story. First, I would not want my child to ever act in any way like Frances does in this story. I generally pick stories that I want my child to emulate or learn from. I do not want my child to make up excuses to get out of bed. I do not want my child to learn to use their imagination to be scared. There are plenty of things to be scared of
Erma Talamante
Full review to come...

Another one from childhood...

I liked Frances. I really did. Though I was never too sure if Frances was a he or a she.Maybe it was the ambiguity that I liked.

But I remember reading the books over and over, and one time Frances would be a he, and another time she, and it gave the stories different tones I thought.
Aug 16, 2010 Elizabeth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-books
So Frances doesn't want to go to bed, and tries every trick in the book to get out of bed. Then she gets scared by a giant, then she gets scared by the idea of a bug coming through a crack in the ceiling, then she gets scared by a moth tapping on the window. You know the only thing more scary than all this? The prospect of getting a spanking from her parents. So she goes to sleep and sleeps til morning.

Reading this to a child who has never yet had sleep issues was a disaster. (What's on the cei
A story we had to read for school today, and my 5 yr old loved it. I found it a little uninteresting, but overall enjoyable. I did like the unusual way the parents answered Frances' questions when she didn't want to go to bed. For instance, when she asked about the Giant in her room that was going to eat her, instead of a normal parent response such as "There are no such thing as giants, go back to bed", the father responded with "How do you know the giant wants to eat you? Did you ask him?" A d ...more
Jun 16, 2008 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Claire by: My parents bought it for me
"S is for sailboat, T is for tiger, U is for underwear down in the dryer . . . "

This was my favorite book as a child. I will admit, it disturbed me slightly to have to add such a garishly full-color version of this book to my list, as the highlight of my old battered childhood copy was the single-color pen and ink illustrations, where each book only had one accent color (this one was green).

Frances the Badger is one of my literary alter egos - pesky, stubborn, hyper-imaginative to the point of
Apr 12, 2015 Sonia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tutoring-books
A book about those nights in which we just can't get ourselves to sleep. Nothing works. An fall asleep when it's near morning (and you hate yourself for it).
Bedtime For Francis is a bedtime story about a little girl named Francis who doesn't want to go to sleep. She keeps thinking there are spiders, monsters, and giants in her room, and keeps bothering her parents to check for her.

I remember reading this series when I was young, although I don't think I read this particular story. I always liked the drawings, with the clear lines, and contrasting colors.

What I liked about this story was that Francis' parents encouraged her to not be afraid, but they
Anna Frame
Personal Reaction- I like this book because I think it is one that a lot of young children can relate to. It also tells a story about a family and their bedtime routine and that is something that a lot of students will be able to recognize that it happens in almost every home. Frances thinks of everything possible to put off going to bed but eventually tires herself out and goes to sleep anyway.

Read aloud to kindergarten and first grade students
-enrichment and enjoyment of the students
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This story is one in a collection of kids' books in one big volume, The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury: Celebrated Picture Books and Stories to Read Aloud, which is really a fantastic collection of old and new children's literature. Anyway, this particular story I found kind of annoying, maybe because I was already a mom when I first read it. Bedtime goes on and on and on and on....

The kiddies might like it, but I'd be worried that they'd get really bad ideas about what to do at bedtime a
Nov 07, 2015 Shanu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read this one because it was mentioned as an example of how culture and medias induces men into becoming abusers in the book "why does he do that".

Yes, the dad said his daughter would get a spanking if she didn't stay in bed.
I don't think that's a big deal, but then again i might have been conditioned to think that there's nothing wrong... Who knows?
Jan 02, 2016 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great, realistic story about the typical bedtime rituals of children (i.e. how to avoid actually going to sleep). Covers a great variety of scenarios with humor and a childlike perspective.
Mar 21, 2016 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bedtime for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Garth Williams. 1960/1996. HarperCollins. 32 pages.

First sentence: The big hand of the clock is at 12. The little hand is at 7. It is seven o'clock. It is bedtime for Frances. Mother said, "It is time for bed." Father said, "It is time for bed." Frances said, "I want a glass of milk." "All right," said Father. "All right," said Mother. "You may have a glass of milk." Frances drank the milk.

Premise/plot: Bedtime for Frances is a classic picture b
May 24, 2009 Bryce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The illustrations in this book are priceless. There is one in particular, on page 25, that is worth the price of the book . It depicts Frances (a baby badger) waking up her father in the wee hours of the evening. The look on her fathers face could not have been drawn any better. This is a wonderful 'goodnight book' for your kids. The back cover states "The soft humorous pictures of these lovable animals are delightful." -- I completely agree.
Oct 05, 2014 Heila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Frances is such a sweet, impish little badger-girl character. I've loved her since I was a girl myself (mostly because of "Bread & Jam for Frances" - the book where she doesn't want to eat a variety of foods). I don't remember reading this particular book about Frances, though. A feeling of completeness, combined with soft but important-to-kids adventures of not being able to fall asleep at bedtime make it really great. I love her parents, too. They give her extra kisses goodnight, then help ...more
"Frances said, 'There is a giant in my room.
May I watch television?'
'No,' said Mother.
'No,' said Father.
Frances said, 'The giant wants to get me.
May I have some cake?'"

I love Frances and am so glad I recently rediscovered these books! This is the typical nighttime story of a child who doesn't want to go to sleep just yet. Frances keeps finding things to be scared of (like a giant), things she forgot (like brushing her teeth), and various other excuses for why she can't go to bed yet. I think F
May 21, 2016 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the books my son would have had to read for his first grade class if we had started schooling at home at the beginning of the year instead of after the first quarter. I'm rather glad he didn't read this book for a class.

Honestly, the book didn't bother me too much until the father threatened Frances, but then I had to look at the parents' past behavior to see the problem. The parents indulged her over and over and over again, and, when they had enough, the father threatens her. N
mama was surprised that the daddy in the book at one point asked Frances if she wanted a spanking. Funny stuff - SO not politically correct!
Emily Williamson
Aug 27, 2014 Emily Williamson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written story that relates so well to bedtime for most children! My 3 year old grandson loved having me read it to him!
I'm not exactly sure if I've ever read this one as a child. Reading this as an adult with children I found it amusing. Why? Because it reminded my of my children. Using any and every excuse to get up out of bed and stay up as late as possible.

My son's attention wandered a bit during this and I think that it partially the simplistic drawings. Which I personally loved but I can understand why my son who is used to more elaborate illustrations would not appreciate the simplicity of these. Other th
Sep 22, 2014 Michi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I came across this book while looking through the 1001 Children's Books list and I am shocked. It all starts out harmlessly enough with the oh-so-common bedtime struggle and a child finding a million reasons to stay up ... until her parents threaten to spank her and then she stays in bed, the end! And this is still being read to children in this day and age? People still think this is okay? This is basically "Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about" in pretty pictures, are you kiddin ...more
Oh dear. I remember this book from when I was a child; I loved the pictures. I recently picked it up again and found myself surprised by the content. I don't know if I had just completely forgotten the text/story of Bedtime for Frances, or if my mom glossed over some of it, but it's not a story I'm really comfortable reading my kids now.

Frances is disobedient, thinking up excuse after excuse to get out bed after bedtime. It's kind of "haha, kids do this," the first few times, but as it persists
Jul 19, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Matt by: My twins
Shelves: childrens, humor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 01, 2011 Allison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I wouldn't
Recommended to Allison by: 1001 BYMRBYGU
Shelves: 1001-cbymrbygu
I loved the Frances books as a child. She's always up to some mischief that her parents patiently tolerate and she learns from her experiences, growing a little more with each one. However, re-reading this book in 2011, I cannot say that I would recommend it to children today (unless a couple of changes were made to the story).

The first "problem" I ran into was that Frances' father smokes a pipe. When I was a child, my father smoked a pipe and a lot of my friends' fathers smoke pipes. That was t
Nov 15, 2015 Garren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I liked the most about this is that the parent bears were good about helping Frances with her physical needs: eating, brushing her teeth, etc. and were good about answering questions, but they would also suggest things Frances could do to manager her own tendency to be distracted or scared at bed time. By the end, she handles a situation on her own and goes to sleep.

This edition used only black lines and green shading for a pleasant effect. Had to keep laughing about the father bear smoking
Frances the badger tries all sorts of ploys to avoid bedtime from a glass of milk to kisses from all of her family members and even her teddy bear.

Age: 2+

Skill: Talking (Children will relate well to Frances' tricks to stay up and her fears at bedtime. Talking to children about this well-known ritual of bedtime is a great way to increase comprehension of this book.)
Oct 12, 2015 Tonya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wow-books
I absolutely LOVE this classic book. As a child, I knew what it felt like to want to stay up past a bedtime that always seemed way to early. Now, as a parent, I can completely identify with putting children to bed, only to have them jump up multiple times for various "emergencies!" This book is such an enjoyable read-particularly for parents to read to their children. I think it could also be used as a read-aloud by a teacher of younger grade children to build relationships and start conversatio ...more
Laura Verret
I’ve read a few Frances stories at other people’s houses to other people’s children, but this is the first I’ve purchased. In this particular story, Frances is being put to bed. But before submitting to sleep, she first insists on having a glass of milk, being carried piggy-back to her room, and being kissed multiple times by both parents. And still Frances is not sleepy, for she imghines that she can see first a tiger, then a giant, and then unknown terrors in her room. Will Frances ever nod of ...more
Suzanne Moore
Getting my grandkids to bed is sometimes an ordeal ... and I've found that as a grandma it is much harder to use threats. Nowadays spoiling is more my style. But the line has to be drawn somewhere. Reading this to Dylan (8) and Emily (5) was a lot of fun. They related on all levels to Frances and expressed their own fears of the dark and concerns for strange noises outside. We live in the country and coyotes are definitely more intimidating than a moth.

I thought papa badger's patience was comme
May 21, 2014 Angie rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
Synopsis: "It may be bedtime for Frances, but that does not mean Frances is ready to go to bed - not by a long shot. First she must have a glass of milk and make certain Mother and Father have each kissed her good night (twice). Then she is ready to imagine there is a tiger in her room, and a giant, and...each time Frances thinks up something new, off she goes to tell her ever-patient, if increasingly weary, parents."

My Review: This was such a favorite when I was a kid and it is still mostly rel
It's been awhile since I picked up a book on the list of 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before you Grow Up and I'm a bit behind on my 50 book goal for the year. So, those were my two reasons for reading this book over this weekend.

It's a cute story and I liked the illustrations. It was nice to re-read a childhood classic.

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Other Books in the Series

Frances the Badger (7 books)
  • A Baby Sister for Frances
  • Bread and Jam for Frances
  • A Birthday for Frances
  • Best Friends for Frances
  • A Bargain for Frances
  • Egg Thoughts and Other Frances Songs

Share This Book

“There is a tiger in my room,' said Frances.
'Did he bite you?' said Father.
'No,' said Frances.
'Did he scratch you?' said Mother.
'No,' said Frances.
'Then he is a friendly tiger,' said Father. 'He will not hurt you. Go back to sleep.”
“(Frances has gotten out of bed again and come to her parents' room...)
'How can the wind have a job?' asked Frances.
'Everybody has a job,' said Father.
'I have to go to my office every morning at nine o'clock. That is my job. You have to go to sleep so you can be wide awake for school tomorrow. That is your job.'
Frances said, 'I know, but...'
Father said, 'I have not finished. If the wind does not blow the curtains, he will be out of a job. If I do not go to the office, I will be out of a job. And if you do not go to sleep now, do you know what will happen to you?'
'I will be out of a job?' said Frances.
'No,' said Father.
'I will get a spanking?' said Frances.
'Right!' said Father.
'Good night!' said Frances, and she went back to her room.”
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