It’s National Young Readers Day, and as a fun part of the celebration, I have partnered up with the memory foam mattress experts from Casper to answer this question:
What stories help you or your family catch some Zzzs?
I am a huge reader and always have been. One of my first favorite books was a little number called Ann Likes Red. You may be able to infer this from the title, but it is the story of Ann who, despite her mother’s attempts to sway her, chooses clothing that is red. Red, red, red. This nugget is the one that got me off and running on a lifetime of reading!
I distinctly remember the time I told my mother that I needed her to keep the hall light on until I fell asleep, because I was afraid of the dark. It worked beautifully until the night that she caught me turned sideways in my bed, trying to read from the glow just outside my bedroom door. That was the end of that.
But as for a favorite bedtime book, I don’t recall having one. Since I was always reading and was a fast reader, as I got older I was just trying to cram in as many chapters as I could before the light had to be turned off. I did re-read books, though. Here are some of the books that I read over and over when I was a kid:
- The Little House in the Big Woods series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (excepting Farmer Boy and By the Shores of Silver Lake. The former was “boring” and the latter was way, way too sad).
- The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart. I gobbled up any book that was about witches and magic, and this was the best one. Creepy and serious, it is in the same vein as some of the Harry Potters.
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. As I have written before, I have a distinct love/hate relationship with these books. But we had the set, and I read them. A lot.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl. What kid doesn’t love “seeing” the chocolate factory for the first time? What kid doesn’t love watching the brats get their due? Well, other than my kid. She still feels sorry for them. At least she doesn’t cry about it any more.
Speaking of my kid, we read a lot to her, beginning when she was a little baby (you can blame my Montessori roots). She read a lot to herself as she got older, especially before bed every night (she still does). We started with board books of the classics, like Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton; Go, Dog. Go! by P. D. Eastman; and Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. We have her the choice of two or three books, and she always chose Goodnight Moon as the final. Makes sense, right? The only thing left to do after you’ve said goodnight to everything is go to sleep, so it’s perfect (though searching for the little grey mouse can wake a toddler up a bit).
My absolute favorite bedtime reading was when I read the Harry Potter series to her, starting on her eleventh birthday. She had been scared when quite small by the first movie (thanks, older cousin!) and it made her apprehensive about reading them on her own. She had been too young to enjoy all of the midnight book releases and almost all of the movies on the big screen, and she really wanted to see the last two movies in the theater. As we finished each book, we would watch the movie. At Thanksgiving, when we were at her grandparents’ house, she got to see part one of The Deathly Hallows. Then, for her birthday, we went to the midnight showing of part two.
Unfortunately for both of us, reading a really good book tends not to make us sleepy but to do the opposite. But that’s OK – there’s magic in those hours.
Many thanks to Casper for inviting me to participate! No money, goods or services have been exchanged for this post – though those mattresses look intriguing!