Boynton for Bedtime: Favorite Bedtime Reading for the Under-5 Set
Why Sandra Boynton’s Books are Perfect for Bedtime
I've had bedtime routines on the brain this week. I spent a few days at the end of last week at my dad and step-mom's house, and one of the best parts of being there was being able to participate in my three-year-old sister’s bedtime routine, reading her a few books we picked out together before bed each night. And then a few days ago, wsingkhek’s hub about her troubles getting her three-year-old daughter to sleep in her own bed caught my eye, and I responded with some advice about creating and sticking to a bedtime ritual.
All this got me thinking about some of the nap-time and bedtime rituals I have established with the kids I've nannied for over the years. By far, my favorite part of each one has been reading. And while I could probably list about a hundred favorite kids’ books off the top of my head, my all-time favorite children’s author for bedtime reading is Sandra Boynton.
Why are her books so great for bedtime?
They’re short and sweet. The books are a fast enough read that you can read three in a row without it taking all night. And you won’t have to worry about cutting into sleep time when that adorable little face looks up at you with puppy-dog eyes and asks “One more time, PLEASE?”
The pictures are fun, but not too stimulating. Boynton’s illustrations are distinct – simple, silly, and super cute. They’re not overly flashy, but they’re fun to look at – so they’ll engage your child without getting them wound up.
They’ve got transitional energy. One of the most skillful things about Sandra Boynton’s writing is that her stories are full of energy, but they have a way of subtly winding themselves down. When you read them aloud, it’s easy to get caught up in the energy of the words, but notice how you find yourself naturally reading more slowly and more quietly at the end of the stories. You can tell from how she crafts her books that Boynton really understands how kids operate – that just like they go from zero to sixty in no time at the start of the day, they often tend to go back from sixty to zero in just a few pages of reading at bedtime. Her books are perfectly paced for that.
They’ll sing you to sleep. Boynton’s books have all the rhythm and rhyme of Dr. Seuss without the length that younger kids don’t tolerate. When you read them aloud, you’re practically singing as your voice bounces and glides along with her words. Try reading them in a rocking chair and notice how the words and phrases rock along with you. You’ll understand how these books are perfect for bedtime!
Ready for some Boynton at bedtime? Kate recommends:
3 great books in one package, including Pajama Time, which is a bedtime must-have.
My sister, who's three, LOVES this one - silliness at its best.
This one might be my all-time favorite. The rhyming is just perfect and it's really fun to read!
Despite being about a bunch of berserk hippos, this one is a great example of how she winds the book down to a calm energy level by the end.