Bedtime can be a mixed bag for lots of younger children. There are the endless requests for a drink of water, another blanket, a nightlight or just one more trip to the bathroom. On the other hand, it's a chance to share that last book of the day before drifting off to dreamland. Some great books to help lull little ones to sleep are:
By David Ezra Stein
Little Red Chicken has a little storytime problem. He can't let anyone finish. Just as each tale is getting good, the impatient youngster yells out an incorrect conclusion. Finally, Papa Chicken figures out a way to get the youngster to a satisfactory bedtime conclusion.
By Michelle Meadows, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
Will Conductor Bear be able to guide the nighttime train to the Hibernation Station? This rollicking trip to a long-awaited sleep only calms down when the animals finally arrive and are tucked in at their destination. A perfect short story to preface a long sleep.
"HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOOD NIGHT?"
By Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague
Dinosaurs are, of course, known for their manners. Do they drop their manners just because it's time to go to bed? Of course not! Little dinosaurs at your house will enjoy following the example the dinosaurs in the book set.
By David Wiesner
This book shows a night's worth of unusual dreams: frogs flying through the air on lily pads, pigs falling from the sky. The night can't get stranger than this. But are these really just dreams?
By Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd
This simple yet classic telling of bedtime still is able to get kids into the sleeping mood. For 65 years this book has helped parents and grandparents get their little ones to sleep.
"BEAR SNORES ON"
By Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman
Of course, if you can't get to sleep probably the worst thing to do is to keep Bear from getting his sleep. In this modern classic, a group of small animals does exactly that. Bear's warm lair is perfect for partying, but when they awaken their huge host who knows what will happen.
By Dav Pilkey
Sometimes dreaming has to be interrupted for work. The paperboy knows this. He and his dog rise in the middle of the night to assure that others can have their newspapers first thing in the morning. But then, when all the work is done, the paperboy can return to his warm bed. And he and his dog can return to their dreams.
And this year, books on nighttime and dreams are especially pertinent since the library's summer reading theme for children is "Dream Big, Read!"
Scott Strawn is the youth services coordinator for the Beaufort County library system.