As a young child I hated to go to bed, for fear I would miss something. This bedtime story will help young children fall asleep easily as its pictures...moreAs a young child I hated to go to bed, for fear I would miss something. This bedtime story will help young children fall asleep easily as its pictures and texts combined take them into restfulness and finally deep sleep.
The opening scene shows bold, bright colors of dark value. The bunny is wide awake sitting up in his bed looking at the telephone on the bedside. The text mentions the telephone, along with a red balloon. The reader may wonder why the telephone is mentioned. Maybe the bunny thinks it might ring. He seems to be sitting up waiting for something. On the next page the colors are achromatic. Throughout the book the pages alternate between color and achromatic. I think this may be a strategy for making you sleepy. If every page were bright, the colors could act as a stimulant. Eventually another Bunny appears, this one an “old lady.” This “old lady” has her paw raised to her lips which corresponds to the text whispering “hush.” The bedside lamp casts light above and below the lampshade, illuminating the darkening room. The colors of the room directly touched by the lamplight are just a hint lighter, giving the room a cozy feel. The “old lady” has knitting in her lap, possibly sitting with the bunny until he goes to sleep. If you notice a strand of yarn leading from her lap to the floor, this straight line turns into curvy, tangled lines that show you the kittens are not sleepy yet. They are having too much fun playing with the ball of yarn.
Towards the end, the kittens are shown sitting alert and still, and if you notice the direction they are facing: They are both looking at the “old lady.” Her yarn has been rolled up, leaving the kittens nothing to play with. The text mentions her saying “hush” again. You can imagine that she is speaking in quiet tones as you study the setting and the room is beginning to grow darker. I noticed that the bunny changes positions in the bed from page to page. This leads me to believe that he was trying to fight sleep and stay awake, like many children do at bedtime. Then finally in the end the bunny is asleep, the room is totally dark. I think the artist washed over the picture with a light covering of watered down black paint. The effect allows the reader to see into the room, imagining your eyes have adjusted to the dark, and with your night vision see the basic outlines. Still the room is not pitch dark, because there are two windows letting in moonlight and showing shining stars. The “old lady” has left the room, which tells us the bunny is finally asleep, and the kittens have resigned to sleep themselves, as they curl up in the chair once occupied by the “old lady” bunny. (less)
This book won the Caldecott award in 1942. McCloskey's illustrations are made with charcoal and then lithographed onto zinc plates, creating soft edge...moreThis book won the Caldecott award in 1942. McCloskey's illustrations are made with charcoal and then lithographed onto zinc plates, creating soft edges. The characters in the story are expressive, easily transmitting their emotions, such as surprise on the officer’s face to see the mother duck with her offspring on the downtown streets and the puffed out, proud walk of the mother duck leading the way. This book shows mother duck as a strong character. When the father duck leaves, she takes matters into her hands, caring for the young ducklings on her own, and setting off to make her way to the island without his help. With her independence, she could be considered a ‘feminist’ before the feminist movement really began.(less)
Whenever I get overwhelmed and begin to wonder if I can actually do something, I remember this story. The little engine teaches us to be positive, hav...moreWhenever I get overwhelmed and begin to wonder if I can actually do something, I remember this story. The little engine teaches us to be positive, have confidence, and determination. It's been said that there are no shortcuts to life's greatest achievements. Watty Piper's story illustrates this idea with the enormous mountain the little engine must climb to help the train make its delivery. It might have been easier if there had been a shortcut ... a path that wasn't so difficult. Though the climb may test our endurance, the heights to be reached make it all worthwhile.
I love how mama bunny lets her little one explore the idea of independence, but with assurance that she will never be far behind. The bunny tries to t...moreI love how mama bunny lets her little one explore the idea of independence, but with assurance that she will never be far behind. The bunny tries to think of different ways to make his "escape" and mama always has an answer for how she will bring him back. In the end the bunny realizes that, for now, the best thing he can do is to stay where he is as mama's little bunny. I think mama bunny's devotion shows how she will do whatever it takes to keep her baby safe. A great bedtime story.(less)
These three engines are competing for attention here. Edward is demanding and anxious to start, calling impatiently for the guard. He taunts Gordon an...moreThese three engines are competing for attention here. Edward is demanding and anxious to start, calling impatiently for the guard. He taunts Gordon and Henry about being the first to go out. Gordon is cross and grouchy because he has to pull dirty coal trucks rather than shiny coach cars. Edward is recruited to help Gordon when he complains about his heavy trucks. With Edward's help pushing Gordon is able to reach the top of the hill. Gordon takes all the credit for the hard work and forgets to thank Edward for the push. Henry is a vain engine who hides in a tunnel to keep out of the rain. Henry refuses to budge from the tunnel. Henry is so stubborn about coming out of the tunnel, that the train director instructs his men to seal the tunnel and leave him there. Edward and Gordon tease Henry about his dilemma as they chug past the tunnel on their rail adventures. When Gordon bursts a safety valve while showing off, Edward is called to pull Gordon's heavy cars. Edward isn't strong enough and the director finally agrees to take down the wall blocking Henry's tunnel and give him a go at the job. When Henry comes to the rescue, the passengers are so grateful. In the end Henry learns it is better not to be stuck-up. He missed chugging the tracks! Gordon and Edward are glad to have Henry back in service again, and they learn to work together. The story of these three trains make a good lesson for little ones about the consequences of bragging. (less)
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...moreGetting 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 commendable, despite the spanking warning. I really liked his reasoning ... "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."
I'm sure I will remind them of their "job to go to sleep" again, but doubt they would believe my threats to follow through with a spanking. (less)
Very simply written with detailed pictures that speak volumes. When Rosie, the chicken, steps out of the hen house for a morning stroll, the fox think...moreVery simply written with detailed pictures that speak volumes. When Rosie, the chicken, steps out of the hen house for a morning stroll, the fox thinks he can easily catch his breakfast. As the fox sneaks along behind Rosie she leads him through the barnyard in a sort of obstacle course. She seem oblivious to each misstep the fox takes, and not in the least worried of his intended attack. For example, while his eye is trained on Rosie the fox steps on a rake that swings up to smack him in the face. Poor fox, he reminds me of the Roadrunner in pursuit of Tweety Bird.(less)
This book is an adventurous interactive read. I love to read this with a group of kids and see them making the motions and sound effects. The fear fac...moreThis book is an adventurous interactive read. I love to read this with a group of kids and see them making the motions and sound effects. The fear factor of traipsing through all sorts of terrain and encountering a ferocious bear builds adrenaline, and for young ones the comfort of having an adult leading the hunting party encourages bravery. Lots of delicious noisy sound words! (less)