Bedtime Stories Tales of Animals Soothe Children to Sleep Easily

Article excerpt

If the "time for bed" announcement at your house elicits groans, protests and pleas for a drink of water, perhaps some books about bedtime will help. Today's selections tell youngsters what happens while they sleep, what happens if they don't go to sleep and what happens if they try to sleep somewhere besides their very own comfortable beds. Title: While You Were Sleeping Author/illustrator: John Butler Publisher: Peachtree Price: $15.99 Ages: 4-6 This picture book's simple plot is about a mother telling her daughter, Daisy, what happened while Daisy slept.

While you were sleeping, one tiger went hunting in the jungle, and while you were sleeping, two mice made a warm cozy nest in the hay. While you were sleeping, three bears played chase in the snow and while you were sleeping, four baby owls sat wideeyed in an old oak tree.

The text is repetitive, making the book a soothing choice for bedtime, and the animal illustrations are outstanding. They're so realistic they look as if they come from an encyclopedia. While the words serve as a counting lesson from one to 10, the pictures in the book are perfect for teaching animal identification and characteristics.

After reading the book, parents could reinforce the educational aspects of this sweet, slow-paced story by asking questions such as "Where do dolphins live?" and "Where do mice like to nest?"

This book combines simple words with a simple plot to create a simple, solid good book. Instead of counting sheep, children can count Daisy's nighttime friends. Title: The Very Noisy Night Author/illustrator: Diana Hendry/Jane Chapman Publisher: Dutton Children's Books Price: $15.99 Ages: 4-7 Little Mouse can't sleep.

First there's a wind rushing, puffing and huffing outside the house. Then there's a branch tapping against a window. Later, a ghost hiding under the bed calls, "Who, who, who."

Big Mouse sighed, sat up and listened. "It's only an owl," he said. "It stays up all night like you."

Little Mouse continues to hear disturbing nighttime noises -- including Big Mouse's own snores -- and Big Mouse explains them. Finally, near the end of the book, Little Mouse gets his wish and crawls into Big Mouse's bed to sleep. …