Reading & Writing

Violet’s Top Ten Bedtime Books, in No Particular Order

everyone poops
A classic

The girl is a huge fan of story time. She’ll tell me she’s ready for bed at six o’clock and then expect me to read stories until eight. It’s a problem, really, but I love how much she loves her books. There is a huge stack of books by her bed (or on her floor–it’s always tumbling down) but these are her most-requested of late. Ignore the fact that none of the protagonists are female (though I would argue Little Critter is gender neutral–in my mind, anyway–and we only know Small Bear is a boy because he morphs into Brother Bear when Sister Bear is born)–though it does annoy me, that’s not what this post is about. I just wanted to share our bedtime reading list and to ask you, what books do your kids love?

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Friends & Family, Reading & Writing

Twelve Little Girls in Two Straight Lines


Did you read the Madeline books as a kid? I have Madeline and the Bad Hat and Madeline in London in my collection, and I recently bought the kids a board book copy of the original Madeline, which I know I read as a kid but I guess I didn’t own it because it wasn’t among the stacks and stacks of books I brought home from my parents’ house after the boy was born.

For three and a half years, I waited for him to be interested in those books. I kept offering, but he’d snub them–mostly for Dr. Seuss or the Berenstain Bears. Around age three, he added Babar Learns to Cook and Babar Saves the Day to the rotation, and later Babar and his Children, which is longer, but still no Madeline. I’d pretty much given up on it. And then a couple weeks ago, when I asked what I should read him at bedtime, he brought me Madeline in London. To say I was excited would be an understatement.

I have always loved the illustrations in these books, and the use of color. No surprise, given that Ludwig Bemelmans considered himself an artist-illustrator more than a writer. I loved the towering and sweet-natured Miss Clavel. I loved the beautiful house all covered in vines, and the way they lived their whole lives in two straight lines. And of course, I loved Madeline. And I’m so glad that my son is starting to love Madeline, too.

Which was your favorite Madeline book? What other favorites did you have as a kid, and which are/were you most excited to share with your children?