Short Stories–When You Need a Bedtime Book in a Pinch

Short Stories–When You Need a Bedtime Book in a Pinch

As a parent who works in an elementary school, I have an added bonus in being able to bring books home regularly to read to my kids for our bedtime reads. Also, we go to our public library pretty regularly, so if I can remember to grab a book (or let’s be honest, books) I usually do. However, sometimes I forget to do either. The thing is, when I don’t have a book to grab right away at bedtime, sometimes I have the urge to send them to bed without a book, which is a routine I would NOT like to start.  So, when in a pinch, and I don’t feel like reading The Book With No Pictures for the 100th time, I have found that books full of short stories are the way to go. Here are a couple of my go-tos:

imgres  We have had this book for well over a year and a half, and we just finished it last week. I initially mentioned it in my blog here, when we had just started the book. I have the ebook version of the book, which is part of the reason we didn’t finish it sooner. We would forget about it because it wasn’t sitting on one of their bookshelves. Like I mentioned in the first post, this book has a pattern to it, and my kids could both recite parts of it each time I read it. They also loved that the stories were about them–it’s written as if they had an adventure that day and I am reminding them about their experiences. Like the title says, there’s a month’s worth of stories, so its a great quick grab for kids who like silly stories.

imgresThis is another one I’ve written about before. Titled 50 Wacky Things Animals Do, this one is great for kids who enjoy nonfiction material, animals, and just weird things in general. We would read about a couple of animals a night until we finished the book. This is definitely one they wanted me to read more of each night!

 

 

Lastly, this book has been our most recent bedtime read that is full of short stories. Now, 20190130_1550416267061602993784651.jpgI’ll be honest, I’ve had this one for years, it was on clearance when I bought it, and when I looked up images of it, it looks like a lot of the copies are being sold on ebay. So, while you may not be able to get this exact book, there are other books that are full of folktales, and they will serve the same purpose.  African Folktales, retold by A. Ceni, is a book full of tales that originated on the continent of Africa. I love stories with a lesson/moral, so these short stories can spark some discussion after we read them.

 

 

So in order to not get into a #RaisingReaders rut, and even if you don’t grab any of these specific titles, I recommend that you have some sort of book full of short stories on hand that you can grab in a pinch.

Always read it yourself first–Earth Day edition

Always read it yourself first–Earth Day edition

So, not long ago one of our bedtime reads was The House That Jane Built, and I felt really good about starting a conversation with my children about how they could possibly help the less fortunate, so I thought I’d try to continue that with a similar book a few days later.

To help celebrate Earth Day, classes in the school I work at will be reading this book:

20170331_214057

The Water Princess is based on a true story about a young African girl who has to walk miles with her mother each day, just to get the water her family will use to do the most basic things, i.e. clean clothes, cook food. I wanted to give my babies some perspective about things that are expectations to us are luxuries to others.

And as usual, I brought it home first to read it to my kids beforehand. Standard protocol, I read through it at some point, just to make sure everything’s kosher and my reading of the book will be of thespian quality. (ha!)

The kids were excited about reading it, so I was all set to impart some more wisdom and continue my quest to mold multi-dimensional people (ha! again). We were about halfway in, when we came to this page:

20170331_223937

This book is beautifully poetic, but because of its setting in Africa, it also has a couple of French words, including “maman”, which means “mom”. But when I got to that page, I stuttered.

“My ma-man?”

“My mama-n?”

As I’m trying to figure how to say the word, my children are cracking up laughing. Granted, it is kinda funny, but hey, I was trying to help these people learn about another culture, and I’ve completely lost them. Ugh.

Eventually I was able to finish the book, and it has a nice little “About this story” type page at the end of the book, so I started to explain to them how it was based on a true story, and Gie Gie, the main character, had to walk 4 miles one way each day just to get water. My giggling son was already out of the room, but I got to have a brief conversation with my daughter about how this is a big deal. Of course her solution, after being excited to not have to go to school, was to have me teach her on the walk to get the water, once she realized that not going to school at all was vastly different than missing a day occasionally to have to get water.

So I did get a little teaching in, but the moral of this story is, at least glance at, if not read through a picture book (chapter books are more difficult to read through) before you share it with your children. It makes for a smoother read on your part, as well as increases your chances of maintaining their interest in the story.

(Also, this book is great for Earth Day, plus I love Peter H. Reynolds’ illustrations!)

#RaisingReaders