Beaufort County library's 2012 summer reading program focuses on bedtime stories

Special to Lowcountry LifeMay 13, 2012 

We've been busy making plans for the library's free 2012 summer reading program, which features a night-time theme. Children will be able to track their reading to earn weekly incentives or be entered in prize drawings throughout June and July. While you're waiting for summer reading, here are some Good Night stories to share with your family.

"Shhhhh! Everybody's Sleeping," by Julie Markes

Children are sure to enjoy the illustrations of the policeman sleeping while holding toy vehicles, and of course the librarian who has fallen asleep with an open book in her hand next to shelves stuffed with books. Even grown-ups will get a giggle at the barely visible President under stars-and-stripes linens. The simple text (two lines per page) and illustrations of smiling sleepers make this the perfect bedtime story for your little ones.

"Good Night Gorilla," by Peggy Rathmann

Zookeeper visits each animal with no idea that Gorilla is behind him unlocking the animal cages. Children will enjoy chiming in to read each page's "Good Night" while enjoying the silly illustrations of animals following Zookeeper into his home. All settle in for bedtime until the still-oblivious zookeeper's wife says, "Good night dear" only to be surprised by a chorus of Good Nights.

"The Very Lonely Firefly," by Eric Carle

My favorite of the "very" bug books features a firefly's flight through the night sky searching for a friend. After some misleading encounters with a flashlight, lantern, candle or owl's eye, our protagonist and your child are in for a wonderful surprise in the book's finale.

"What Shall We Do with the Boo Hoo Baby?" by Cressida Cowell

Animals take turns making many attempts to get an unhappy but wide awake youngster to bed. Sound familiar? After trying food, toys and a bath, the animals get the bright idea to put the baby in his crib. The ending features a string of ZZZZs from exhausted animals while a smiling baby leans on the crib rails.

"Bats at the Library," by Brian Lies

A library window left ajar allows bats to enjoy the computer, copier, books and even storytime. Charming illustrations depict the wonder and fun stories can bring. Children who are experienced readers (or story listeners) will be delighted to spot the details including the police officer from "Make Way for Ducklings," the "Good Night Moon" book cover, Peter Rabbit and a sign for Emerald City.

The book closes with, "For now we'll dream of things we've read, a universe inside each head," which is the perfect sentiment for the Beaufort County library's summer reading program featuring the artwork of the "Bats in the Library" illustrator.

For more information about the summer reading program or great book suggestions, please stop by your local library, or check our website www.beaufortcountylibrary.org.

Melinda Vest is the youth services manager at the Bluffton library.

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