Along Came a Bedtime by Ian Whybrow and Guy Parker-Rees

Most bedtime-themed books have a lulling effect — for good reason, assuming that they are actually functioning as bedtime reads, since parents usually hope that their children will fall asleep quickly. That said, you might want to make an exception for this book.

In spite of the word ‘Bedtime’ in the book title, this is not your run-of-the-mill dreamy, soothing bedtime yarn. Instead, Along Came a Bedtime is a cute and playful read, with bouncy rhymes that have a good rhythm to them.

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Centered around a bear and his baby who are getting ready for bed, the story takes a turn when the pair are interrupted by a somewhat presumptuous duck who not only jumps into their bath, but, upon declaring that he doesn’t want to sleep, also requests for a joyride in their car. And so, with their bedtime plans derailed, they end up going on a little adventure while picking up other animals along the way. (Incidentally, I’m impressed — and tickled — by how the author has cheekily weaved into the text the way parents miraculously translate their own baby’s babble into something intelligible, although whether that is what the baby actually means to say is another story altogether!)

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Naturally, the book does eventually end with everyone fast asleep in bed, but getting there is really more than half the fun. It’s also just as well that this doesn’t fit the usual bedtime-story mould, since this means that this delightful book can be read anytime!

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