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Bedtime for Frances
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Bedtime for Frances (Frances the Badger)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  16,568 ratings  ·  171 reviews
Famed for her many adventures, Frances made her debut with this title over thirty years ago. In this first Frances book, the little badger adroitly delays her bedtime with requests for kisses and milk, and concerns over tigers and giants and things going bump in the night. Long a favorite for the gentle humor of its familiar going to bed ritual, Bedtime for Frances is at l...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 29th 1995 by HarperFestival (first published January 1st 1948)
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
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Community Reviews

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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
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...more
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...more
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...more
Jun 16, 2008 Claire rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
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.
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
Jun 20, 2008 Jake added it
Shelves: books-we-own
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!
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...more
Jul 19, 2008 Matt rated it 5 of 5 stars
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 3 of 5 stars  ·  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...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...more
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...more
Megan B
Oh my goodness! We picked this up from the library. Justin read this to the kids while I was making dinner. I had to eventually sit down so that I didn't wet my pants. I laughed SO HARD! This could have very easily been titled "Bedtime for Kinley". Frances' thought process and behavioral tactics were so perfectly patterned after my Kinley that it was frightening. Every bit of it was freakishly accurate, even Mommy and Daddy totally getting busted with "tea and cake" after putting the kids down a...more
After loving A Baby Sister for Frances, coming across Bedtime for Frances in the The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury: Picture Books and Stories to Read Aloud it was requested (quite loudly) that we read it. While part of me felt it was long, it was comic g last after reading six or more other stories so alone it might be quite right. The content is very appropriate for us and our bedtime/naptime struggle. I think we will return. To Frances books often in the next few years.
If I could give this book six stars, I would.

"Do you know what will happen if you do not go to bed?" asked Father.
"I will be out of a job?" asked Frances.
"No." said Father.
"I will get a spanking?" asked Frances.
"Yes." said Father.
"Goodnight." said Frances.
Lyndsey Miller
This book maps out a child's imagination, especially when it comes to going to bed at night. She does many things that keeps her awake. It is good for children to know they need to be well rested, however threats of spankings is not how I'd handle it
My favorite in the delightful series following Francis the Badger, I always marvelled at how easy it was to get my parents to read Bedtime for Francis to me (over and over and over). Clever, funny, charming, and beautifully illustrated with movement and emotion, this book turns out to be as much of a treat for parents as for children. While the young reader enjoys the story for its songs and the imaginative transformations available in the illustrations, the adult reader will chuckle page after...more
Paige Thomson
The story is about a little raccoon who follows a nightly routine for bed and attempts to put off bedtime as much as she can. Frances the main character seems to get here way, putting off bedtime until her parents teach her that sleeping is a part of her “job” and that she must fall asleep on her own. Frances is a little cute character that demonstrates what the typical child does when they are not ready to go to bed. I liked reading the story because it was really clear cut and I felt that stud...more
What a great bedtime book...for adults. I read this and laughed throughout at the depth of the bedtime toolkit Frances had at her disposal to deal with her restlessness and fears. "The giant wants to get me. May I have some cake?" Exactly! This isn't a "aren't kids cute or irritating in the way they procrastinate their bedtime?" Instead, it captures some of what children face in shutting down for the day, including still wanting to be with their parents, be active and be safe. Williams' illustra...more
This children's author was way ahead of his time. . . he managed to write a story about our daughter, almost 50 years before she was born. . .
Emily Williamson
Beautifully written story that relates so well to bedtime for most children! My 3 year old grandson loved having me read it to him!
Angela Hollen
I loved this book as a kid. It's especially fun if you have the recording to go along with it like I did.
Oh, so it's the moth's JOB to bump on the window AND SCARE YOU TO DEATH! He's not just being a jerk. Well, that clears that up.
Now I know that books for young people are often repetitive and little ones enjoy that, but this book was just boring. I can imagine some hapless adult being guilted into reading the story over and over and wishing they could just chuck the book into the garbage while the kid isn't looking. I'll admit, it's cute and all, how the kid in the story is constantly making excuses of why not to go to bed. But when the father says he's going to spank the kid, well, I don't think I need to elaborate on h...more
Katie Carlisle
Frances has a large imagination and this story shows how it can be good and bad.
Growing up, we had the book and book on tape. I loved listening to the tape and following along in the book. I now have my own copy and have read it aloud twice to others. I can't help using the same voices and inflections as I heard growing up. You just can't beat the alphabet song. Someday I'm going to make up the letters you never get in the book.

4/2006 Children's lit class review: "Not as large type. Lines close together, lots of white space around. More lines on a page. Illustrations tend t...more
I loved this book as a child, and am pleased as punch that my kids love it too. We walk around singing the song, "S is for sailboat, T is for tiger, U is for underwear down in the drier" to the same tune my mother set it to so many years ago. Despite having quite a lot of dialogue for a children's book, the story is so engaging that you don't get bored. One of my favorite things about the book is that though the illustrations show some grumpy faces on Dad, he's such a softie at heart for Frances...more
Such a sweet mom used to read these books to me when I was little. There was always a "moral of the story" of course but it was written with such a sweet and innocent style that I begged her to read them over and over again.

It's bedtime for young Frances and everyone is ready but her. At 7:00 p.m. Frances is wide awake and tries every delay tactic she can muster--from demanding extra hugs and kisses to volleying a series of urgent last-minute questions ("May I sleep with my teddy be...more
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“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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