I could eat your little ears.
I could nibble on your nose.
I could munch your tiny fingers.
I could gobble up your toes.
The gentle lulling rhythm of this rhyming bedtime offering is divine. Written for the very young, it could be read to newborn babies but will still be suitable for older toddlers and preschoolers, especially as an end of day read. The text describes all the things the narrator/parent could be doing in adoration of the child, but ends with a reminder that it’s bedtime and so time for sleep. In the meantime, the kissing and cuddling and settling to bed has happened in the illustrations – between a a pair of purple elephants who could be either a male or female parent (or grandparent/carer) and child. These lovely elephants are rendered using pencil and acrylics, and digital collage using a variety of objects including fabrics, knitting and baskets.
The format of the book also makes it suitable for bedtime – the hardcover being cushioned to make it soft touch. It’s easy to imagine a toddler sleeping with the book.
Perfect as a gift for a newborn, Baby Bedtime is a book to be treasured.
Baby Bedtime, by Mem Fox & Emma Quay
Available from good bookstores and online.
Greedy Goose told him about her day
and the way…
the whole wild thing…
turned out okay.
Some children don’t like bedtime, but the boy in this beautiful offering loves bedtime. After the last kiss, the last story and the last goodnight, he is left in the company of friends – his soft toy animal friends. Each one tells him about their day and then he tells them about his, before he falls asleep with his arms full of toys.
A lovely bedtime story, the gentle text with its repetitive refrain is perfect for sharing and the illustrations reflect the peaceful colours of a semi-darkened bedroom.Youngsters will love Greedy Goose, Blue Horses and Fat Rabbit and discussing their adventures.
Tell Me About Your Day Today, by Mem Fox and Lauren Stringer
Available from good bookstores and online. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.
If you were a new chick, your mother would have fluffed up her feathers and sat on you to keep you safe. Your mother didn’t do that.
Holly’s mum has to go out, and Holly isn’t keen. But Dad offers to tell Holly a story, about the night she was born. As Holly and Dad snuggle up, getting ready for bed, Holly asks about where she came from and what happened when she was born. Dad starts by telling her, in response to her questions, about the things her mum didn’t do – hatching her from an egg, carrying her about in a pouch, or even feeding her mice for dinner, before telling Holly what her mother did do, carrying her in her tummy and then crying tears of joy when she was born.
Did My Mother Do That? is a gentle story of the bond between mother and child which manages to also be a lovely demonstration of the paternal relationship, too. with Dad being the one who spends the time with Holly when Mum has to go out.
A lovely bedtime – or any time – story, illustrated with lovely mixed media illustrations using a combination of acrylic, watercolour and pencil. The animals hop, swim and wander across the pages, as they enter Holly and Dad’s imaginations, so that the animals and the humans share the spreads in a way which will intrigue young readers.
Did My Mother Do That?, by Sharon Holt & Brian Lovelock
Walker Books, 2012
Avaialble from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.
Asleep in a gently snoozing ball
Little possum’s soft and small.
In a twisty tunnel and cosy bed
Little wombat rests his head.
From possums and wombats to crocodiles and bats, the baby animals of the Australian bush settle down to sleep, until finally the young readers is reminded that when s/he settles down to sleep in bed, you’re not the only sleepy head.
Bushland Lullaby is a gentle bedtime read suitable for children from birth. In lyrical rhyme the text is like a soft song. It is perfectly complemented by the pastel watercolours and mixed media of the illustrations, with dusky pinks and blues prominent.
A lovely touch is the use of not only the predictable Australian animals – possums, wombats and echidnas – but also some probably less expected in a cuddly book – crocodiles, bats, even lizards. Another nice touch is that each illustration shows the baby animal either cuddled by a parent or with one close by, a reminder to young readers that they are watched over even while asleep.
This would make a treasured gift for a newborn.
Bushland Lullaby, by Sally Odgers & Lisa Stewart
Available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.