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Boynton for Bedtime: Favorite Bedtime Reading for the Under-5 Set

Updated on June 7, 2011
Sandra Boynton's books can often be found occupying an entire shelf of the children's section of any bookstore.
Sandra Boynton's books can often be found occupying an entire shelf of the children's section of any bookstore. | Source

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.

Boyntons illustrations are distinct:  simple, silly, and super cute. This baby hippo is from "The Bellybutton Book."
Boyntons illustrations are distinct: simple, silly, and super cute. This baby hippo is from "The Bellybutton Book." | Source
Boynton has a way of winding down the energy of the books by the end that makes them perfect for bedtime. The last page of "Pajama Time" begs to be read as lights are being dimmed and comforters pulled tight around sleepy little ones.
Boynton has a way of winding down the energy of the books by the end that makes them perfect for bedtime. The last page of "Pajama Time" begs to be read as lights are being dimmed and comforters pulled tight around sleepy little ones. | Source

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:

Big Box of Boynton Set 1!: Barnyard Dance! Pajama Time! Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!
Big Box of Boynton Set 1!: Barnyard Dance! Pajama Time! Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!

3 great books in one package, including Pajama Time, which is a bedtime must-have.

 
Belly Button Book (Boynton on Board)
Belly Button Book (Boynton on Board)

My sister, who's three, LOVES this one - silliness at its best.

 
But Not the Hippopotamus (Boynton on Board)
But Not the Hippopotamus (Boynton on Board)

This one might be my all-time favorite. The rhyming is just perfect and it's really fun to read!

 
Hippos Go Berserk!
Hippos Go Berserk!

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.

 

What??? You've NEVER read a book by Sandra Boynton??? Well, here's a peek!

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    • Kate Spenser profile image
      Author

      Kate Spenser 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks, PracticalMommy! These are some of the few books I really don't mind reading until I have them memorized. :)

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      I too love these books for bedtime reading. My son loved "Moo, Baa, La La La" so much that we all have it memorized! Voted up! :)

    • Kate Spenser profile image
      Author

      Kate Spenser 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks, mib! I will definitely check out your list!

    • profile image

      mib56789 6 years ago

      Cool! A list of books I can read to my grandchild and enjoy for myself while enjoying a bowl of frosted flakes.

      http://www.suite101.com/content/does-the-little-ki...

    • Kate Spenser profile image
      Author

      Kate Spenser 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks, Mary-Alice and cardelean!

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Cute books, nice job. I've read barnyard dance to my own children. They are great stories.

    • profile image

      Mary-ALice 6 years ago

      ALways happy for a suggestion of books to read to my granddaughters - thanks!

    • Kate Spenser profile image
      Author

      Kate Spenser 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks, Flora and ripplemaker! I was pretty excited to be nominated.

      Ripplemaker, Pajama Day sounds like SO much fun, and yes, these books (especially Pajama Time) would be fantastic to read for that - I hope you have a chance to try it! The image in my mind right now of a circle of preschoolers in their jammies listening to this story being read is making me grin. :)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Gosh, these books would be perfect for Pajama Day too :) Our preschool kids would love it I am sure.

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! To read and vote, this way: http://hubpages.com/hubnuggets6/hub/Nuggets-for-El...

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      I'm not all familiar with the author's name,but I recognize the drawings.

      Congratulations on you hubnuggets nomination

    • Kate Spenser profile image
      Author

      Kate Spenser 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks, Simone! I hope you'll look for them - they really are some of the most cleverly crafted board books out there.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      How lovely! I'll have to check them out- the drawings are definitely familiar!

    • profile image

      Bedtime Routine Mommy 6 years ago

      I love these books and read them to my year and half old son all the time before bed. He looks forward to our bedtime routine and so do I.