Bedtime often is hard for young children. Maybe it has something to do with being alone and away from their trusted grownup. Saying goodnight, and actually staying in bed to fall asleep, was difficult for my children when they were preschooolers.
Kiss Good Night by Amy Hest (illustrated by Anita Jeram) was a bedtime favorite. Hest’s fun text pairs beautifully with Jeram’s illustrations, giving readers a playful, cozy feel for the story and characters.
The story begins with Sam, a young bear, going to bed on a “dark and stormy night.” His mother, Mrs. Bear, reads to him and tucks him in. Sam is safe inside his house and his room while the wind blows and the rain comes down outside. Mrs. Bear and Sam have a bedtime routine that involves reading, snuggling, arranging stuffed animals, and drinking warm milk. After each step in the bedtime routine, Mrs. Bear asks Sam if he is ready now. Sam shakes his head and says, “I’m waiting.”
After they have done all the usual things in their routine, Mrs. Bear smiles a nice bear smile and says:
“…let me think. We’ve read
a book and made a nest,
arranged your friends,
and had warm milk.
Sam…what did I forget?”
Mrs. Bear pretends to think about it, then remembers that it is a special good night kiss.
“And she bent way down,
kissing Sam once
and then twice more.”
The story ends with Mrs. Bear saying good night and leaving the room while Sam falls asleep on that dark and stormy night.
This is a sweet book – excellent for sharing with young children at bedtime. I confess to borrowing that special good night kiss idea a few times as well, when my not-quite-sleepy ones needed extra reassurance at bedtime.