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In this section we have brought together some of our favourite bedtime reads that we hope will become yours too.
June 2019 Book of the Month | This beautifully observed story will resonate with children and adults alike and will repay reading over and over. Mia and Ben are best friends – the joy of their relationship perfectly depicted in Richard Jones’s illustrations which are full of the details of children’s lives but with a richness of colour and texture and composition that heightens the emotions. Everything changes when the sort of domestic tragedy familiar to lots of children happens – Ben’s family move away. At first the two are lonely and sad, but the story shows that their friendship still connects them and always will. Powerful feelings are expressed delicately and poignantly through words and pictures and this is an outstanding picture book.
May 2019 Book of the Month | Out walking, Elmer the Elephant is in a reflective mood, taking his time to soak up the sounds, smells and sights around him. He spots shapes in the clouds and in the sandstone rocks, he listens to the noise of the river crashing over a waterfall, notices the raindrops in a spider's web that look like sparkling diamonds and smells the scent of wild flowers. The other animals hurry past, far too busy to stop and enjoy these natural wonders. Fortunately Elmer meets his cousin Wilbur and they both stand happily together to watch the night-time draw in. This is a gentle introduction to mindfulness, a celebration of being in the moment and making time to appreciate the world around us. Head to over our KidsZone for more Elmer fun! Elmer the Elephant celebrates Elmer Day on 25 May 2019! Visit our Elmer the Elephant feature to find out more about the Elmer books and ways to celebrate Elmer's 30th Birthday!
This thoroughly charming picture book fills night-time with friendly bears and should delight little children. At night, when it’s dark and quiet, the Night Bear hops onto a night bus and sets off to find his dinner – nightmares. Travelling round he finds treats on doorsteps everywhere. Monsters with hideous eyes, dragons and scary pirates are all delicious, but a dream of rainbows and unicorns is so disgusting he has to give it away. The bear is super cuddly and lovable in Thiago de Moraes’ attractive illustrations and this will add fun and adventure to little children’s idea of the night, making it perfect bedtime reading.
April 2019 Debut of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2019 | An ebullient debut picture book with a great twist which young readers will love spotting as the story unfolds. When Grandma loses her glasses, Isobel sets about helping her to find them. Searching in the garden they find a very big cat… Grandma loves cats and she is always taking in strays. Without her glasses she can’t really see just how big a bundle of orange fur that this new cat is! Nor can she work out why so much cat food is getting eaten. Young readers will spot that she is reading a story about a tiger which is probably very familiar to them. And they will realise that this cat is actually very closely related to the two tigers who come looking for it! Bold cats in strong colours are at the heart of this great story. Find colouring in and puzzle pages in this Big Cat Activity Pack - download here!
This is a much-loved classic but as relevant today as it was when first published in 1969! The vivid and colourful illustrations and cut back and die-cut pages, together with some very simple text, provide a wonderful story that is immensely satisfying for parents and children alike. It’s a book that’s more threadbare than most in the nursery in my house.
Benji Davies’ new book is a story of escape that has a particular resonance for little children. Tad lives with her brothers and sisters in their pond. The smallest almost-a-frog she has to wiggle her tail twice as fast just to keep up, and they all know that Big Blub waits at the bottom of the pond for left-behind tadpoles. With Tad the very last tadpole in the pond there’s a touch and go moment, but in a glorious burst of light, her legs arrive just in time. It’s the perfect story to reassure any child worrying they’ll always be at the back, and Davies handles light and shadow brilliantly to create and control the drama. A beautiful and very special picture book.
February 2019 Debut of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2019 | What better present can a princess receive than a pudding making machine! Soon puddings and cakes of all sorts are spilling out of the machine as the young Princess Hannah takes control of her fabulous birthday present. But the present has an unfortunate impact on the princess; it reveals that she has never had to share. Luckily, her friends take matters into their own hands and soon they too are pulling the levels and turning the wheels and together they all make the most fabulous puddingly treats – including a giant meringue. The moral is well mixed into this bubbly tale which is vibrantly told in verse by Sally Duran.
Best-selling and glorious Guess How Much I Love You has delighted children – and adults - for a quarter of a century. Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare want to tell each other just how much they love each other. But how do you measure love? Luckily, the two Hare’s know just how much they mean to each other. And Anita Jeram’s illustrations convey that brilliantly.
A board book edition of the picture book classic that follows Mr Bear's quest for a peaceful night's sleep! A timeless storybook classic full of bright colourful pictures that accompany a simple, repetitive text. Children will delight in all the wonderful sound effects and Mr Bear's reaction to the noises that stop him going to sleep until...you'll find out when you read it to your toddler. The familiar noises, repetition and beautiful illustrations make this delightful picture book an all-time favourite with children and adults everywhere.
Winner of the 2007 Prima Baby and Pregnancy Reader Awards Best Buy for Toddlers Award | “A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good.” So begins the story of how a clever little mouse outwits his big scary enemy. The tasty little mouse needs to make his way through the deep dark woods. How will he do it? By inventing the gruffalo, a fearsome creature with terrible claws, terrible tusks and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws. It’s a brilliant trick. The little mouse’s self-preservation is a witty scam that delights children time after time.
You can’t have too many ‘love’ books for very young children and this one is particularly charming and original. It begins with a line we all know, but maybe haven’t given enough thought to: ‘I’ll love you till the cows come home’, before heading off into zany territory – the cows are coming home ‘from a trip to the moon through skies unknown’, Other unusual ‘I’ll love you till’ measurements follow, such as ‘I’ll love you till the sheep set sail’ and ‘I will love you till the frogs ride past on big-wheeled bicycles going superfast’. The animals look very content and happy on their various journeys home in Kristyna Litten’s illustrations and this is lovely to read aloud too with its gentle rhymes. Indeed, the whole book maintains a perfect equilibrium between humour, imagination and a warm sense of love and security. Perfect bedtime reading.
A bad mood gives rise to a really joyous picture book. Duck is cross and out of sorts. She can’t paddle in the pond because it’s dry and she’s got no-one to play with. The other animals invite her to play with them but by then she’s really sulking, so deep in her bad mood – represented by an ever-growing black cloud over her head – that she grumps at them all, spreading her tetchiness. Then finally the black cloud bursts and all the animals, led by Duck, come together for a splashy, playful, raucous rendition of Singing in the Rain. Children will understand exactly how Duck feels, while Petr Horacek’s jewel-bright, richly textured artwork is spectacularly beautiful.
Bedtime is a special time and we all have our favourite books that we love to read over and over....but sometimes we need new recommendations, and that is where we come in!
All bedtime routines are different. Some have a bath, others a warm drink but the best routines end with a cuddle and a good book.