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this week's library book

If you aren't familiar with Frances the Badger, you really should get to know her. I can't say Bedtime for Frances is my favorite in the series (I would vote for A Bargain for Frances) but I was excited when I saw it at the library last week, I remember these books so well from my childhood. The series is written by Russell Hoban, and I love Garth Williams' illustrations.

"The big hand of the clock is at 12. The little hand is at 7. It is seven o'clock. It is bedtime for Frances."

Frances is not at all tired. She tries to sing a song about the alphabet, she looks around her big, dark room and starts to wonder about tigers and giants and bugs and spiders. Each time she goes to visit her parents and they send her back to bed.

Frances notices the curtains on her window moving in the wind. When she asks her father about it, he says "That is the wind's job. Every night the wind has to go around and blow all the curtains... Everybody has a job... You have to go to sleep so that you can be wide awake for school tomorrow. That is your job." (I should mention that Frances' dad does tell Frances that she will get a spanking at the end of the book if she gets out of bed one more time. I tend to skip over that part.)

Frances hears a moth bump the window, she thinks to herself, "There were so many giants and tigers and scary and exciting things before, that I am pretty tired now. That is just a moth, and he is only doing his job, the same as the wind. His job is bumping and thumping, and my job is to sleep." Goodnight little Frances.

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Reader Comments (35)

We read this and my son was actually frightened about the cracks in the ceiling (who would have known) - but, it's a classic for sure!! I bought a beat up hardback copy for $0.10 at our library last year~

04.16.2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusannah

I say "Bedtime for Frances" when I'm ready to turn in!

04.16.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

One of my favorites was Bread and Jam for Frances... I had a little cassette that went along with the book. Such fond memories of Francis...

04.16.2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda Jo

I love Frances! I had all of her books and when I was upset I would pack up all my things and hide under the dining room table. My family always called me Frances! I love this post and your site.

04.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I like books. I like France! I know this book is for me! :

04.19.2010 | Unregistered Commentergrow taller

Such a sweet story! I'm not familiar with the Frances books. I smiled when you talked about skipping over that one part...I would too;)

04.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Lil Bee

Oh, Frances - I used to love her! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!

04.19.2010 | Unregistered Commentermeghan

I LOVED this book when I was a kid. My mom would read it to me every night. I had forgotten about it! Thanks for reminding me of such a nice childhood memory!

04.20.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Definitely my vote is for Bread and Jam for Frances, where I first learned of the existence of egg cups. So sophisticated!

04.20.2010 | Unregistered CommenterLynne

Francis has just the right amount of sass and sweetness. And the songs are my favorite part! Oh, and the lists! :)

The tooth fairy bunnies are adorable!

04.23.2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlyssa Goodnight

I never knew Frances as a child, and consider it one of the major bonuses of motherhood that I get to read her, now. Bread and Jam is my personal favorite, but it's a hard, hard choice!

04.24.2010 | Unregistered Commentermolly

"U is for Underwear down in the dryer" still makes me giggle out loud as a grown-up. Frances is the best. I love reading her books to my kids now.

04.28.2010 | Unregistered Commenteramy smart

I love Frances, and I particularly love the way she's standing beside her sleeping father -- there's something exactly right about her somewhat tentative yet insistent stance.

05.3.2010 | Unregistered Commenterreadersguide

Bread and Jam is my favorite Frances - I love reading them out loud and singing her little songs. Her lunch at the end of B&J always makes me smile with the doily and violets and the little salt shaker.

05.31.2010 | Unregistered Commenterorinda5

I had no idea that this was a series! *I'm far too excited about a child's book!* (My daughter's name is Frances and one of my commentators sent me here - great blog!)

06.21.2010 | Unregistered CommenterHi, I'm Natalie.

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