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Bedtime for Frances

Last updated Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Author: Russell Hoban
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 006027106X
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2005

Synopsis: It's bedtime for young Frances--an adorable and irrepressible little badger--and everyone is ready but her. At 7:00 p.m. Frances is wide awake and bursting with youthful excitement. She tries every delay tactic she can muster--from demanding extra hugs and kisses to volleying a series of urgent last-minute questions ("May I sleep with my teddy bear?" "May I have my door open?"). She's almost positive there are spiders, giants, and tigers in her room. Any parent will quickly identify with this phenomenon--how the last minutes of the day suddenly become the most action-packed. Garth Williams's illustrations complement Russell Hoban's sweet story perfectly, capturing the endless energy and overactive imagination of Frances, and the waning patience of her exhausted parents. Bedtime for Frances is the perfect goodnight story to tell your wide-eyed children. And never fear, like Frances, they too will eventually, contentedly, drift off to sleep.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  How many of you have a bedtime? What time is it?
•  What do you do before you go to bed each night?
•  Do you fall asleep right away or does it sometimes feel too early?
•  What are some ways you try to make yourself go to sleep?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What did Frances do to try to go to sleep?
•  Have you ever thought there was something scary in your room? What did Frances see?
•  What do you do when you are scared? What did Frances do?
•  Have you ever woken up your parents because you were scared? What did Frances say to her dad?
•  What kinds of noises do you hear at night? What did Frances hear?
•  Why did Frances finally fall asleep?

Craft ideas:
•  Cut out a teddy bear, doll, or something that you like to have when you go to sleep. Or, if you don't sleep with anything, draw a monster that you might find under your bed.
•  Make a paper puppet. With a paper bag, decorate the bottom flap of the bag with a face of your favorite stuffed animal. Then, put your hand inside the bag to make it come alive. (Bring ahead option: paperbag, googly eyes, yarn, pipe cleaners, etc.

Special activities:
•  Go through the alphabet like Frances does and find things in the classroom that begin with each letter of the alphabet. Have students write letters of the alphabet.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!