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Bedtime for Frances

(Frances the Badger)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  26,303 ratings  ·  306 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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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  26,303 ratings  ·  306 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
Mar 20, 2020 rated it liked it
It is bedtime for badger Frances who doesn't want to sleep. The story is told like the badger is really a child because of the real situations that happen and can happen with kids.

This book is in the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up challenge I am doing.
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
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
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
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
A different way of life, with that cozy bed (Want!) and a seven o'clock bedtime and mention of a spanking. But still, a universal theme that is still relevant.

Also, Frances has an imagination to celebrate! Though I do not blame her parents one bit for being just a tiny bit exasperated when she goes into their bedroom after they're asleep.
Feb 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Frances can't go to bed. She needs a drink. She needs a kiss. There's a tiger in her room. There's a giant. She forgot to brush her teeth.

Oh, a spanking? Maybe she's tired after all.
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.
Jordan Lombard
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve had this on audiocassette since I was a kid and it’s one of my favorites. I’ve listened to it often. Going through books my mom had saved, I found the paperback of this over the weekend. Yay! Too bad I didn’t find Bread and Jam for Frances, because that’s another favorite for this picky eater!
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
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.
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.
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, aloud
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.
Apr 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
Frances' creative reasons to repeatedly get out of bed and bother her parents surely ring true to most parents. I don't remember now what I made of them as a child who had little trouble sleeping and knew better than to wake up my parents.

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!
Stacy Renee  (LazyDayLit)
Read it for the 1001 Children's Books to Read Before You Grow Up list.

This story is pretty outdated. There's a lot of dialogue and big paragraphs for a picture book. Has some repetition.
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. ;)
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.

Jun 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Matt by: My twins
Shelves: humor, childrens
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
May 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
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
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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

News & Interviews

Are you having a difficult time reading these days? If so, you're not alone. Since the pandemic began, I've found it harder to concentrate on...
64 likes · 29 comments
“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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