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What to read the little monsters at bedtime

What constitutes a good bedtime read? Well, it depends on the age, the mood, the level of sleepiness, but in this instance I’m thinking about a bedtime story for younger children.

Up until now, Mr Frog and I have always favoured a picture book, with a gentle rhythm, lovingly illustrated and seemingly designed to invoke calm upon our brood. The phrase ‘sleep is boring’ is often heard in our house, so the bedtime routine needs to be a cunning mix of parental love, peaceful thoughts and a distinction between story time and lights out!

However, in the past week or so, we have discovered the joys of poetry. We have always read poems to our children and encouraged them to read books of verse for themselves, but not used them as a tool to induce sleep. I have to say it’s been wonderful. Max chooses the book, Mr Frog picks out three or four poems and let the reading commence.

It’s been a really lovely experience and I’m not actually sure why we have never done it before. After all, we used to sing to the children all of the time, until they begged us to stop in fact. I have one poignant memory of Alice simply saying ‘Oh Mummy, don’t’ and looking rather perturbed by my dulcet tones…I digress. The point is, poems are awesome. They don’t have to be specifically for children, they just need to speak to our children on some level.

If you could go back to your childhood, what would your bedtime book of choice be?

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