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Bedtime for Frances

(Frances the Badger)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  25,095 ratings  ·  291 reviews
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.

It may be bedtime for Frances, but before Frances can sleep, she needs a glass of milk, a kiss from Father, one from Mother, her teddy bear, her doll, another kiss from Father, and another one from Mother. And then there are tigers and giants and ominous cracks in the
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 29th 1995 by HarperFestival (first published 1960)
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,095 ratings  ·  291 reviews

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Robin Hobb
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with small kids
We love the Frances series by Russell Hoban. Our favorite is probably A Bargain for Frances, but we find that all of them speak to our kids. Frances' little songs and her experiences are so typical and so humorous that we can read them over and over.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018, picture-books
WTF was this? Ok, I can get on board with a story that has a kid that comes up with a million reasons not to go asleep (I have one of my own like that), I don't love this premise, but fine. But what's up with the casual threat of spanking as the final solution? My kid didn't even understand what it was and I didn't care to explain. "No dessert" and "no TV" I think is more effective than a threat of violence.

Hard pass on all the books by this author.
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
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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. . .
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 rated it did not like it
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
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
I didn’t really get the point of this book. Basically Frances comes up with all sorts of reasons why she can’t go to sleep and then eventually decides that her job is to go to sleep so she can be well rested for school the next day.
Jul 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
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
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with young kids!
I love all the Frances books. So clever and honest.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books I read as a kid that I forgot about until someone bought it for my children. This one pretty much nails what I was like as a child...and how my kids are now. Cute and nostalgic. Moral of the story: Everything has a job. It's the child's job to go to sleep.

Read numerous times in the 80's and a few times this year.
Sep 01, 2011 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
May 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kristine Hansen
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Again, we revisit a book that I read many many times as a child. Along with "Bread and Jam for Frances" these were my oldest books.

Frances doesn't want to go to bed. That's it, the premise is just that simple. And everything she does is exactly everything I did back when I was small. I remember thinking the furniture looked like a monster in the dark. I remember worrying about the things outside. And I remember going to my parents again and again as I struggled with these bedtimes anxieties.

Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I love Frances. This book has to be ret-conned to omit the spanking. Said threat of spanking makes the end a bit sad. Actually now I think about it skip this one and stick to the other Frances books.
I adored this book when I was little. I just loved it!
Mary Overton
Having spent the past month immersed in Hoban's marvelous Riddley Walker, I had to revisit this Frances the Badger book, which was my daughter's absolute favorite bedtime story.

'There is a tiger my 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.'
'Do I have to?' said Frances.
'Yes,' said Father.
'Yes,' said Mother.
Erin Hendrian
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Such a perfect, hilarious, sweet encapsulation of what bedtime with small children is like. I think Will and I enjoy it even more than Beatrice does. ;)
Jun 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 11, 2015 rated it liked 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
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens-lit
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
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
May 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a great story to read to children at bedtime. It validates their fears, yet shows them that there's nothing in the corner after all.

It does mention spanking, which could be a turn off to parents, but she doesn't actually get one, and her parents are quite patient with her repeated forays out of her bed.

As long as children aren't too susceptible to suggestions of scary things, this book is a fun way to settle down at bedtime. I read this one when I was very young, but I liked Bread and
Frances tries every trick in the book to stay up late; then, when she finally goes to bed, all the things that frighten children in the night keep her from falling asleep. Pitch-perfect - both Frances's reactions to the scary things, and her parents' soothing but firm responses. It's easy to see why this has been a childhood favorite for over 50 years. Adorably illustrated, too. A School Library Journal top 100 picture book.
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
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?
Rose Ann
Jul 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Charming charming childrens' picture book! It features the immortal line "U is for underwear, down in the dryer." I remembered this book from childhood's happy hours. Or rather, I remembered that line but could not remember the title. An appeal to my sister Mary Alice, who also remembered this book, led me back to it!
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aloud, favorites
This is such a wonderful, wonderful book! I got to read it out loud to someone who had never met Frances before. At bedtime. The text is brilliant, the illustrations delightful. And there are threatened spankings, which one can hardly find in a book for small people any more. I love Frances' parents with all my heart.

Everyone should have a copy of this on hand, just in case.
Dec 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
Zero stars. Was cute until daddy threatened a spanking!!!!! And then poor Frances hears a moth thwacking against a window, remembers that he will get spanked if he doesn't go to bed, and falls a sleep! What a sick message. Boo to spanking, threats, coercion, and not treating children like human beings.
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Russell Conwell Hoban was an American expatriate writer. His works span many genres, including fantasy, science fiction, mainstream fiction, magical realism, poetry, and children's books. He lived in London, England, from 1969 until his death. (Wikipedia)

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
“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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