Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Rewarding Reading and Sweet Dreams Bedtime Adventures

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Rewarding Reading and Sweet Dreams Bedtime Adventures

Article excerpt

Byline: Brandy Hilboldt, Times-Union staff writer

At a party last weekend, a good friend mentioned that her 3-year-old son, Wells, wants to sleep in his newly acquired and beloved cowboy boots.

We moved on to another topic before I had a chance to ask if she lets him.

My guess is yes.

Why not? Such no-harm-no-foul preferences don't faze sleep-deprived parents.

Today's selections are for Wells and all other children who have an unusual and unwavering concept of what should happen at bedtime. Any Mommy or Daddy who has spent hours searching the house, the minivan, the yard and the T-ball field for a certain blanket or stuffed animal will understand.

Sweet dreams, pardners.

-- Title: Flora's Blanket

-- Author and illustrator: Deborah Gliori

-- Publisher: Orchard Books

-- Price: $15.95

-- Ages: 3 to 5

Flora can't sleep and it's not -- as Mommy and Daddy think -- because of an upset tummy or an earache. Flora can't find her blanket, so a thorough search ensues. It's not in the sandbox, the climbing tree, the vegetable garden or any of the many other places the rabbit family searches.

Not only is author Gliori's story simple and sweet, so are her illustrations. Notice such charming details as the carrot-shaped headboard and footboard of Flora's siblings, Nora, Cora, Sam, Tom and Max. Dad's pajamas have a hole for his fluffy cotton tail, and Flora's long ears droop as she becomes sleepy.

A happy ending makes for a satisfying bedtime story.

-- Title: Night Night, Cuddly Bear

-- Author and illustrator: Martin Waddell/Penny Dale

-- Publisher: Candlewick Press

-- Price: $14.99

-- Ages: 4 to 8

In the same tradition as Flora's Blanket, Night Night, Cuddly Bear is about a boy named Joe who looks for something (a teddy bear) he longs for most when it's time to go to sleep.

"Maybe he's on a boat to Brazil," Daddy said. "He knows lots of bears there, and he been learning to row."

"I don't think so," said Joe.

". . . Maybe he went to Grandma's house to climb trees," Sarah said. "Cuddly Bear is a great tree climber. …

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