said the Mother.
said the Baby
playing in his car.
“It’s still light.”
“But it’s summer,”
said the Mother.
When Mother again attempts to put Baby to bed he escapes by driving off into a magical land populated by his toys. He tries to play with each of them but they all complain they are tired and that night time is for sleeping, not for playing. Eventually even the baby’s toy car falls asleep and finally the Mother catches up with the Baby. In the end he, too, is glad to be tucked into bed.
This simple story is a sure-fire winner on many levels. The language is delightful and richer than many a book aimed at the youngest of children. Never complicated, but always witty and perceptive, the story stands up to even 100 re-readings. I particularly like these lines from when the Baby meets his toy tiger – they work perfectly with the biggest yawns you can muster (not that I need to work very hard to create yawns at the end of the day when I’m putting my kids to bed!):
“Night time is for snoring,
yawned the tiger.
Come back in the morning,
I’ll play with you then.”
Both reader and listener will enjoy the gentle humour. J loves the impish baby roaring of in his car whilst I always smile at the recognisable depiction of the Mother, who ends up both carrying the Baby and pushing his car home, or who later on pretends to call the Baby’s bluff when he finally does ask to go to bed.
And then there’s the fact that every page offer you the chance to make silly car noises – J has now perfected her “Brrrrrrrum” noise and is very proud of herself! (For a great post on reading books with silly noises do have a look at this from Sarah at In Need of Chocolate.)
Without giving away any the plot, there is a section in this story that provide the perfect thrill – just the right amount of suspense before the perfect reassurance that all is right with the world.
In addition to wonderful language, great plot, good humour, there are also magical illustrations. Subdued colours give a cosy, sleepy feeling, and visual jokes on every page provide plenty to enjoy and talk about. It’s often said, but this really is a perfect bedtime read for both kids and their grown ups.
To go with this book I wanted to do an activity that J could really do herself and so we chose to do wheel prints. We selected a variety of toy cars…
…spread printing ink on glass sheets,
…pushed the cars through the ink,
…and took prints by laying white paper over the top of the glass with tracks.
We could have made life a little simpler by using regular paint rather than printing ink and putting the car in the paint and then using the tracks to leave paint on the paper (like here by scrumdilly-do!), but we all love the results you get with printing ink. The printing ink we use is a waterbased, washable ink (this one to be precise), and we spread it on the glass sheets from some very cheap clip picture frames. Having a brayer makes all the difference, and is definitely worth getting if you want to try this technique.
The Baby who wouldn’t got to Bed: *** (3 stars)
Music we’ve been listening to recently includes:
Other activites that could work really well along side The Baby who wouldn’t got to Bed include:
What are your kids’ current favourite bedtime reads? (Oh, and the bookcases are coming on a treat – no doubt there will be a pictorial update later this week!)