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BEDTIME FOR FRANCES

Author: Russell Hoban

Illustrator: Garth Williams

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Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.

Material: paperback

Summary: When Mother and Father announce that it's bedtime, Frances stalls as long as she can. Once she is tucked in, she begins singing an alphabet rhyme ... until she stops, because she is certain there is a tiger in her room. After the tiger, there are myriad other things that keep Frances awake, until she is just too tired to think anymore. This is classic story of children at bedtime and how their imaginations get the best of them.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book.

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Age of Child: Started reading with 4-year-old child.

Young Reader Reaction: Our child loves this book. It didn't take too many reading before s/he adopted many of Frances' delay tactics. Where we had no giants and scary monsters before, after reading this book, they apparently moved into our house. Even now, when the delay tactics have run their course, we still get periodic requests to read this.

Adult Reader Reaction: We picked up this book because we remembered loving Frances as children. Now, though, we tired of this story long before our child did. The story is fine for a couple of readings, but is more formal and rather stiff. We tend to like stories with real names, not "Mother" or "Father." We were thrilled recently, though, when our child announced "Frances isn't very nice. She never says 'please'."

Pros: The story makes it easy for children to relate to Frances. They will find new tactics to try out on Mom and Dad.

Cons: Although the theme of the story is timeless, the presentation, though, is showing its age.

Borrow or Buy: Skip it. There are some really great books that are (or will become) modern classics. The formality and the references to spanking don't need to be part of your bedtime ritual.

If You Liked This Book, Try: THE MONSTER TRAP   NOISES AT NIGHT   HUMPHREY's BEDTIME

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, classic literature

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2007

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