Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Beasts at Bedtime: Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children’s Literature” as Want to Read:
Beasts at Bedtime: Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children’s Literature
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Beasts at Bedtime: Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children’s Literature

by
4.22  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Talking lions, philosophical bears, very hungry caterpillars, wise spiders, altruistic trees, companionable moles, urbane elephants: this is the magnificent menagerie that delights our children at bedtime. Within the entertaining pages of many children’s books, however, also lie profound teachings about the natural world that can help children develop an educated and ...more
Hardcover, 338 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by University of Chicago Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Beasts at Bedtime, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Beasts at Bedtime

Community Reviews

Showing 1-53
Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  23 ratings  ·  10 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Beasts at Bedtime: Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children’s Literature
Navi
This is a fascinating exploration of environmental wisdom in children literature. It is beautifully written and is accessible to the general reader.

Liam Heneghan is a zoologist whose passion and love for the natural world truly shines through in the text. He argues that most, if not all, children's stories have an environmental component that young readers can learn from. Parents and educators are provided with an arsenal of tools that they can use to promote environmental literacy in young
...more
Ann T
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you University of Chicago Press and Netgalley for this ARC in return for my honest review.

I was interested in this book initially thinking it would offer bedtime stories for our family. I was mistaken, however the book I did receive was a well researched, lovingly compiled selection of storytelling and the environment elements contained within.

As the author states it is “complex knowledge contained in seemingly sparse storytelling”.

The author, a Zoologist, recollects childhood books
...more
Nostalgia Reader
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

Immense amounts of children’s literature is set in or around nature, and this book highlights both the obvious and the hidden links to nature that abound in this genre of books.

It was interesting to read about literature from a scientists point of view. Heneghan doesn’t just take a scientific and ecological look at the stories, but also a philosophical-meets-scientific look, which makes for some less than direct assumptions and conclusions in many of the essays. But overall, the
...more
Clare O'Beara
I have to think the author is mainly writing for himself. Quite a lot of this academic book is taken up by his recollections of books, outdoors or tales, while another large chunk is filled by reciting the plots of stories, including spoilers, from Peter Rabbit to Hunger Games, Doctor Doolittle to A Wizard of Earthsea.

In between we get some analysis of the story and the environment or animals it contains. In a chapter on islands, the whole chapter is geography on the differing types of islands.
...more
Richard Engling
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The subtitle of Liam Heneghan's book, Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children's Literature, makes it sound like a weighty academic tome. And it certainly does advance intelligent insights about environmental themes in children's books. However, Beasts at Bedtime is also regularly spiced with engaging digressions, such as how a disastrous encounter with a Peter Rabbit ballet on the author's tenth birthday led to the raucous viewing of a violent Bruce Lee movie on his eleventh. Heneghan is ...more
Emily
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely book! While it's technically an academic book, and you can see the author doing all the academic due diligence - advancing an argument, reviewing the literature, scattering footnotes here and there - you can tell he's really here to talk lovingly about the things he loves. So it's full of stories about his children, his own childhood, his various homes and the natural places (real and fictional) that have called to him.

It left me feeling alternately nostalgic about some
...more
Kore
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Not only was the writing superb and at times poetic, the author’s in-depth knowledge of the natural world helped unearth, the sometimes hidden and sometimes obvious, environmental themes in children’s classic literature. It was both moving and motivating and made me wish I had the time to go back and re read many of those stories that filled my childhood days.
I would highly recommend this book.
Stephanie Tom
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: college
One of the best (creative?) nonfiction books / literary criticisms (or theory?) books I've ever read. I felt a great wave of nostalgia for childhood after reading this book. Also major props because it was a major source for the term paper in my Nature & Culture class this semester. I enjoyed reading this a lot.
Naomi Toftness
May 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
This was less about children's literature and more about the author's upbringing in Ireland. I feel as though a great opportunity was lost
Virginia Douglas
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beasts at Bedtime was my bedtime reading recently, and every night I drifted off to sleep with new images in my head! Intriguing subject matter, worthy reflections and beautifully written, this book opens your eyes wider to tales you thought you knew. What will Liam Heneghan write next? Whatever it is, I'll want to read it.
Suzy
rated it liked it
Oct 20, 2019
Rex Hughes
rated it really liked it
Apr 14, 2019
Caitlin Stout
rated it it was amazing
Jul 12, 2018
Denise
rated it it was amazing
Dec 01, 2019
Kristen
rated it it was amazing
Feb 16, 2018
David Quinn
rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2018
Charity  Bartley Howard
rated it really liked it
Apr 22, 2018
Kaia Constantinides
rated it it was amazing
May 04, 2019
Tammy Steinbeck
rated it really liked it
Jul 17, 2018
Julia
rated it it was amazing
Jun 23, 2018
Connor Cullen
rated it really liked it
Aug 23, 2018
Gina
rated it liked it
Nov 13, 2018
Aaron
rated it really liked it
Feb 21, 2019
A
marked it as to-read
Jan 18, 2018
Tracy
marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2018
Igrowastreesgrow
marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2018
Tim
marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2018
Ilie
marked it as to-read
Mar 04, 2018
Jeana
marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2018
Shifra
marked it as to-read
Mar 12, 2018
Liam Heneghan
Mar 12, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Fabrizzio
marked it as to-read
Mar 15, 2018
Courtney Whited
marked it as to-read
Mar 16, 2018
Morgan
added it
Mar 20, 2018
Christine Severn
marked it as to-read
Mar 20, 2018
Jess Vogt
is currently reading it
Apr 04, 2018
Jehanne
marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2018
Bala Chaudhary
marked it as to-read
Apr 07, 2018
Mariana Acquaviva
marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2018
Rohith Jyothish
marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2018
Mike Cunha
marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2018
Paule Buskin
marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2018
John O'Brien
marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2018
Megan O'Hara
marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2018
Sasha
marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2018
Kimberly Bryant-Smith
marked it as to-read
Apr 27, 2018
Terry Kuny
marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2018
Bridget Harkin
marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2018
Hannah
marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2018
Grace Markes
marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2018
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Genius: The Game
  • BZRK (BZRK, #1)
  • Allowed to Grow Old: Portraits of Elderly Animals from Farm Sanctuaries
  • Lessons from the Light: What We Can Learn from the NearDeath Experience
  • The Rediscovery of North America
  • The Creeping
  • A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon
See similar books…
8 followers
Liam Heneghan is an ecosystem ecologist working at DePaul University, where he is a professor of Environmental Science and Studies and co-director of DePaul University’s Institute for Nature and Culture. His research has included studies on the impact of acid rain on soil foodwebs in Europe, and inter-biome comparisons of decomposition and nutrient dynamics in forested ecosystems in North America ...more