Not too long ago, this book became a media sensation for its accurate description of a less-than-smooth bedtime. Like many other parents, I read the book, and could relate 100%. But I didn’t purchase a copy for my home, and don’t plan on doing so because I just don’t want that kind of language on my bookshelves, especially in picture book format where small hands are likely to grab it. There is a G-rated version of the book, Seriously, Just Go To Sleep for those who find themselves in the same quandary.
Despite my misgivings, the reason the book is so wildly popular is because so many parents could relate. It would nice if bedtime at my house looked like something out of a happy Hollywood film. Hugs and kisses, soothing story, and my child falling asleep as I turn the last page.
In reality, it’s more along the lines of story, hugs and kisses, 3,468 last-minute burning questions, pleas for more water, the drama of a newly discovered hangnail, and desperate attempts for my attention while I’m putting Baby to bed.
So, yes. I can relate to bedtime woes. Fortunately, so can many, many other author parents out there. Here are a few picture books we’ve enjoyed at our house that more accurately depict the typical bedtime scenario:
Sleepyhead by Karma Wilson and John Segal (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2006)
“You’ve drunk your drink, Good night, I said. Go to sleep. It’s time for bed. One more drink, says Sleepyhead. And… One more teddy, one more snuggle. One more comfy, cozy cuddle.”
You can almost hear Mama become increasingly frustrated with each “one more” request.
Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Bloomsbury, 2010)
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein (Candlewick, 2010)
Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems (Hyperion, 2006)
“Hey hey! Ho ho! This here pigeon just won’t go!”
“It’s the middle of the day in China!”
As always, Willems delivers both laughter and reality with a book that both parents and children can relate to.
Your thoughts? Maybe you have one of those perfect bedtime scenarios. In which case, we don’t want to hear from you (Okay, maybe we do. Just don’t rub it in…) But if you’re like many parents, you can probably relate to the bedtime woes. Any stories you would like to add to the list?