We start off our day with picture books…. I don’t know why it’s taken me until now to realize we should end our days with them too.
Every morning during circle time I read a handful of picture books to begin our day together. Sometimes it might be one longer book instead like our recent favorite Andrew Henry’s Meadow. Whether short or long, the staple to our morning reading is quality picture books with engaging illustrations.
At night I do our longer chapter book readings. I used to update my read aloud list regularly; yet I just realized I haven’t started one for this year (Facepalm!). I promise to get to that soon. (We’re currently reading a phenomenal series called Peter and the Starcatchers which is a prequel to Peter Pan, and I’d love to share some of my thoughts on it with you.)
My girls and I have stumbled into something else at night. I read a few chapters from our chapter book and then we share a “nightcap“. Don’t call the Department of Children and Families on me just yet– I’m not slipping my kids alcohol. No, our nightcap comes in the form of yet another picture book. A nighttime picture book that evolved on its own and seems to be the perfect way to end our night and bookend our day spent together.
It started out simply enough with Sandra Boynton’s classic “The Going To Bed Book“. Who doesn’t love Boyton’s magically simple books? Her silly stories with their zany animals have never lost their appeal to my children. I know as my girls continue to grow and mature eventually my dramatic readings of “Blue Hat, Green Hat” will lose their appeal; but for now, I relish every evoked giggle.
The Going To Bed Book was the harbinger of our picture-book-nightcap tradition.
A simple yet sweet way to say goodnight.
“The moon is high. The seas is deep. They rock, and rock, and rock to sleep.”
I’ve been on a quest to find beautiful nighttime books ever since. Luckily for me I was recently sent some books to review from the independent book publisher Tiger Tales. My love affair with Tiger Tales started at the library year ago when I stumbled upon a few books and realized this publisher gets IT. They put out some seriously beautiful books. Since that time I have become a huge fan of theirs and I happily promote and endorse their products with a huge smiley-faced seal of approval.
A further testament to their high rating in my family is that my children and I purposely wander up and down store aisles scanning books specifically looking for Tiger Tale’s distinctive red spine. I love hearing one of my girls delightedly squeal, “I found A TIGER TALE!” We can’t get enough of them.
Trust me- you’d notice my addiction the moment you scan our playroom’s bookshelves.
To say I was elated to realize that Tiger Tales had a whole selection of “Bound for Bed” books would be an understatement. You can see this collection along with a slew of others on their online catalog here.
As with ALL of their books, I immediately fell in love with the first one I read. Bedtime in the Meadow by Stephanie Shaw and illustrated by Laura Watkins is just as adorable a book as one can get. On a whim, during the initial reading to my girls, I sang the story as a lullaby. I am not a good or even mediocre singer by any stretch of the imagination but it worked beautifully to be read aloud that way. The words naturally came out as a song before I realized I was doing it. My girls and I have been singing it aloud together every night since.
Do you have any nighttime traditions? What are you favorite nighttime stories or picture books?