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The Picture-Book Club > September 2013: Discuss Our "Bedtime Stories" Club Reads HERE

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Sep 03, 2013 07:44AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5639 comments Mod
The votes are in. Here are the titles we will read together for our Bedtime theme:

The Way to Slumbertown

Bear Snores On

The World Champion of Staying Awake

Little Night

Good Night, Sleep Tight (there are two books by this title, we are reading the one by Mem Fox)

Sixth/Alternate:
Enchanted Lions

Looking forward to our discussion!


message 2: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5639 comments Mod
Little Night is one of my long-time favorites. I absolutely fell in love with the gorgeous illustrations and the sweet, playful tale. It's one that I would love to have in our personal library and to read again now that I have a little one of my own.

I'm also a huge fan of Karma Wilson's "Bear" books. Her rhymes are always top-notch and Bear and his friends are so adorable.

Picture books about bedtime are among my very favorites so I'm really enthusiastic about this month's theme and look forward to the other titles.


message 3: by Londa (last edited Sep 18, 2013 08:00AM) (new)

Londa (londalocs) | 47 comments I will keep coming back to edit this post as I read them. My 8 yr old is helping me to evaluate these although he is a tad outside the recommended age for most of them. ;)


Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson 5.0 out of 5
Things we loved:
*The cover. It was the first book the 8 yr old picked because the cover interested him
*The illustrations are soft and just perfect for a bedtime story. 8 year old really liked them
*The repeating phrase ... bear snores on. Enjoyed anticipating when he would awake.
*Biggest like : The rhyming story was also pitch perfect. Love the intro the most In a cave in the woods, in his deep dark lair, through the long cold winter, sleeps a great brown bear
*Fun slumber party.

Things we didn't like
*Can't think of anything really. Great book!

The World Champion of Staying Awake by Sean Taylor 4.5 out of 5
Things we loved:
*The bright colors but not too bright for a bedtime story.
*The end papers. Well this was something I liked. I was wondering if the illustrator meant to invoke thoughts of Stellaluna. There are 3 bats and a moon on the front end papers and owls and a moon on the back end papers. The little girls name is Stella.
*The fact that Stella is putting her animals to sleep, and behaving as the adult.
*Biggest like : The rhyming 'adventure' pages where Stella pretends they are on a boat, train, and hot-air balloon. (The 8 yr old had an issue with her just calling it a balloon...*mom rolls eyes here) We both loved the gorgeous full 2 page illustrations and the rhymes were perfectly done. I hate it when they seemed forced, and these definitely weren't
*Wacky questions animals asked to avoid going to sleep.

Things we didn't like
*Can't think of anything really. Great book!

Good Night, Sleep Tight by Mem Fox 4.o out of 5
Things we loved:
*The repeating rhyme... “‘We love it! We love it!’ said Bonnie and Ben. ‘How does it go? Will you say it again?’” ..... “I’ll tell you another. / I heard from my mother.”
*The nursery rhymes themselves were cute and there was one I had never heard before.

Things we thought were just OK
*Neither one of us was over impressed with the illustrations. They were good enough.

Enchanted Lions by David Greenberg 3.5 out of 5
Things I liked:
*The creative tale about riding lions into the cosmos. The prose was sweet and the pictures were lovely.

Just OK
*Granted my son is 8, but he was totally bored with this story. I can understand because while it was well written, I also found it a little yawn worthy.

Little Night by Yuyi Morales 3.0 out of 5
Things I liked:
*The artwork was beautiful. I love the game Little night and her Momma were playing, and how she was getting ready for her 'day' as the world went to sleep

Just OK
*Although I thought the artwork was beautiful. It was too dark for a bedtime story. I never would have thought about it, but especially in the dim lights we have on to read bedtime stories, we hard a hard time 'seeing' the pictures. My biggest disappointment with this book was the ending. It was very awkward and ABRUPT. I kept looking for a torn out page thinking. "That can't be the end!" The ending kind of ruined the rest of the story for me.

I requested an ILL for The Way to Slumbertown but I don't think it is coming in. I will review it, if it does.


message 4: by Dolly (new)

Dolly (dollymart) | 252 comments We all absolutely adored the book Bear Snores On and read it over and over again when our girls were little. I doubt that we'll borrow it again from the library, but I could almost recite it from memory...

We've already read The World Champion of Staying Awake and Enchanted Lions and liked them. I am really looking forward to Little Night and Good Night, Sleep Tight, but we aren't able to get The Way to Slumbertown from the library.


message 5: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7025 comments Mod
I read Enchanted Lions last year sometime and really enjoyed it.

A sweetly poetic, gorgeously illustrated, imaginative and fantastical romp through the nighttime constellations astride an enchanted lion, Enchanted Lions is a wonderful bedtime story for any young child, but is especially suitable for children who are interested in outer space, the constellations, the vastness and mystery of the universe. Rose and her lion companion glide through the universe, past Pegasus, past Pisces, even engaging in a race across the vastness of space with Monoceros, the unicorn (and Rose even becomes somewhat of a heroine, rescuing herself and the enchanted lion when they come too close to a black hole by hooking a comet tail lasso over Cetus the whale). The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, luminous and bright, a perfect complement to the poetic text, creating a rich and fantastical tapestry sure to enchant and delight.

Now Enchanted Lions is not a book for those looking for factual information about outer space and the universe (it is a completely fantastical, imaginative voyage into the unknown of the universe, a poetical delight that is part fairy-tale, part science fiction). Very highly recommended for any imaginative child (and anyone who has ever dreamed of encountering the constellations, anyone who has ever imagined and wished for the constellations to be real, to actually be able to meet and touch Cetus the whale, Pegasus the horse, Pisces the fishes).


message 6: by Anne (new)

Anne Nydam | 124 comments I love Bear Snores On, too. Illustrations are gorgeous, poem fun. (We've also read a few others in the series but I see there are now quite a few more that must be more recent. Of the ones we've read, we liked Bear Wants More)


message 7: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7025 comments Mod
Anne wrote: "I love Bear Snores On, too. Illustrations are gorgeous, poem fun. (We've also read a few others in the series but I see there are now quite a few more that must be more recent. Of the ones we've..."

I have not read Bear Snores On yet (I just picked it up from the library last Friday), but I should let people know there is also a DVD which features Bear Snores On as well as other seasonal stories (picking that up at the library today, I hope).


message 8: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5639 comments Mod
I'm glad to hear that so many of you share my fondness for Bear! ;-)

Gundula, I am eager to know what you think of the DVD version.


message 9: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7025 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "I'm glad to hear that so many of you share my fondness for Bear! ;-)

Gundula, I am eager to know what you think of the DVD version."


The DVD version of Bear Snores On was delightful (and is even narrated by the author herself). Actually, the DVD (which is produced by Scholastic) has five other stories. I loved the Bear Snores On rendition, as well as Come On, Rain! and Time of Wonder (both of which I now REALLY want to read). I did not particularly enjoy the video versions of Waiting for Wings (the book might be good, but in the video version, they made this into some type of pop song, which just was not my cup of tea at all). And The Snow Cat I found a bit creepy as a video tale (and I wonder if some kids might not be frightened of and by the rather strangely moving illustrations). But the video is definitely worth watching and sharing (I just ended up not finishing the stories I did not enjoy).


message 10: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5639 comments Mod
Thanks, Gundula! I'm so glad to hear it was good. I want to see it even more now that I know it includes "Come On, Rain" -- I loved the book.

Is there a title for the DVD collection?


message 11: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7025 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Thanks, Gundula! I'm so glad to hear it was good. I want to see it even more now that I know it includes "Come On, Rain" -- I loved the book.

Is there a title for the DVD collection?"


I've already returned it to the Library, but I think the title was something like Bear Snores On and five Other Seasonal Tales (I am pretty sure about the first part of the title, but not entirely sure about the part about the seasonal tales). Hope that helps (and it's produced by Scholastic).


message 12: by Tricia (new)

Tricia Douglas (teachgiftedkids) | 312 comments I just finished Bear Snores On and loved it. Of course, the illustrations are large and make the book special. The text is short and sweet and allow the reader to want to turn the pages. This is my first introduction to the 'bear' books; I see there are several that I might 'need' to buy - of course, not for me, but for my grandchildren! Good choice for our group.


message 13: by SamZ (new)

SamZ (samwisezbrown) | 220 comments Bear Snores On
This was a cute book, but nothing that really blew me away. I loved the illustrations, but I didn't want to purchase the book so I could read it repeatedly with my 4 year old. She didn't continue to pick it from our library box, either.
The World Champion of Staying Awake
So cute! I kept reading this thinking to myself that everything the stuffed animals said sounded like my little girl. She keeps taking this book to bed with her and "reading" it to her own toys. Sadly, she is indeed the real-life "champion of staying a awake."
Enchanted Lions
I liked this story a lot. It was whimsical and original and perfect for bedtime. However, my daughter was bored and just didn't want to finish it.
Little Night
This was a beautiful story and I absolutely adored the illustrations. I also loved the way the sky is depicted as a mother searching for her daughter, night. I loved the way the mother's dress changed colors to imitate a sun setting and the sky turning to evening.
Still waiting for the library to get in the other two.


message 14: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments September is nearly over, and I realized that while I read and reviewed most of these books, I never commented here. September is back to school time (for me and my children...my baby started kindergarten this year!) and it has been such a busy month. I really thought I'd posted near the beginning of the month, but apparently not! :) My kids are 10, 8 and 5 so I kind of thought that the older two would not end up liking any of these books, but that wasn't the case. They both loved The World Champion of Staying Awake and Good Night, Sleep Tight. I love Mem Fox, but this particular title was new to me and I was so happy that my kids enjoyed it as much as they did.

Here are my reviews:
Good Night, Sleep Tight

All of my kids (ages 10, 8 and 5) loved this story. I adore Mem Fox. I had the chance to listen to her speak at a professional conference about a decade ago, and she is delightful...as a writer and a speaker. It was fun to read a book by her that I hadn't read before. In this story, Bonnie and Ben have a babysitter named Skinny Doug. He recites nursery rhymes for them to get them to go to bed. After each one there is a repeated refrain about how much they love it and want him to repeat it. He won't, but he says, "I'll tell you another I heard from my mother" and then recites another nursery rhyme. Most were familiar, but there were a couple that I wasn't familiar with. Fun illustrations...not my favorite ever, but fun and matched the tone of the story.
Bear Snores On

I absolutely love the illustrations in this book. The rhymes are wonderful, and I love that it includes so many forest animals and that they all get along so well.

The World Champion of Staying Awake

I love this book! I love the illustrations. I love the little girl's imagination and creativity. The combination of prose and poetry (prose as the animals and Stella talk and poetry as she "dreams the pillow into something") works beautifully. Love. This. Book. (My kids did too!)

Enchanted Lions

A whimsical, magical introduction to the night sky and to constellations as Rose climbs on a lion's back and sails through the air. This was our least favorite.

I have not read Little Night. I had to order The Way to Slumbertown from another system and I just barely picked it up from the library. I will read it this week and review it. Hopefully, I'll actually make it back here to post my thoughts, but no promises. :) Really ended up enjoying these selections!


message 15: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5639 comments Mod
Jenny wrote: "September is nearly over, and I realized that while I read and reviewed most of these books, I never commented here. September is back to school time (for me and my children...my baby started kind..."

Jenny, that's so neat that you got to hear Mem Fox speak! I generally enjoy her books but wasn't able to get the one for this month.


message 16: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5639 comments Mod
Gundula alerted me to Enchanted Lions ages ago but I'd never got around to reading it. I'm glad this group reminded me to do so! I don't have much to add to her excellent review, but here are my thoughts:

A lovely, lyrical bedtime story telling of a girl's fantastical nighttime voyages with an enchanted (flying) lion. I enjoyed the poetic storytelling and found the illustrations suitably dreamlike and fantastical. I also enjoyed how various constellations magically come into play (i.e., they meet Pieces, Cetus the whale, and Pegasus) I was certainly enchanted ;-)


message 17: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5639 comments Mod
Tricia wrote: "I just finished Bear Snores On and loved it. Of course, the illustrations are large and make the book special. The text is short and sweet and allow the reader to want to turn the pages. This is..."

Hooray! A new fan of Bear ;-)


message 18: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5639 comments Mod
The World Champion of Staying Awake
A fun little story, though it seemed just a bit long-winded to me. I like the little girl's imagination and the rhymes incorporated were pleasant, but it just felt like two separate books at times. Still, it is a cute story and the illustrations are also pleasing.


message 19: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7025 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "The World Champion of Staying Awake
A fun little story, though it seemed just a bit long-winded to me. I like the little girl's imagination and the rhymes incorporated were pleasant, but it just f..."


I agree that it's cute, but also perhaps a tad too long for a bedtime story (I also wondered wether it might give kids the same idea about prolonging their bedtime rituals, ha). I also found the book deliciously ironic (Stella putting her toys to bed was/is basically a ploy for her to stay up longer herself).


message 20: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6175 comments Mod
I loved The World Champion of Staying Awake and it would have been great for my sons. The fact that it was long, but still one book, means that we wouldn't have to bring a whole stack of books into bed.

I liked Bear Snores On but wasn't wowed by it. I also thought it too lively for bedtime - it would've worked best for us right after lunch when we were having quiet time but didn't expect to actually sleep.

I'm not sure if any others will trickle in through ILL but I will come back here if they do.


message 21: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments I loved The World Champion of Staying Awake as well, Cheryl. It didn't seem too long for a bedtime story...but my kids aren't super young...10,8 and 5. But all of them loved it. It might even make a fun starting place for a writing assignment...for kids to write the magical adventures they would take with their favorite stuffed animal or doll or blankie (or other lovey) right before bed.


message 22: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5639 comments Mod
Both great points about "World Champion", Cheryl and Jenny! Thanks!


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