September 12, 2014

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Goodnight, Ark PLUS A Giveaway!!!

Dzoo dzoo-doo dzoo dzoo dzoo dzooooo!!!

(That's me playing my kazoo in celebration.  You didn't know I was a kazoo virtuoso, did you?  Just another of my many talents.  I am also a whiz at removing toothpaste "mints" from the sink :))

Welcome back to another year of Perfect Picture Book Fridays!

I am so looking forward to all the new picture books we're going to share!

Parents, teachers, readers, and writers take note!  There will be something for everyone to enjoy and learn from :)

I am thrilled to be presenting a wonderful book for the 2014-2015 PPBF kick-off, written by none other than your friend and mine, Laura Sassi.  Since this is part of her blog tour, we are fortunate to have her here with us today, sharing her thoughts on the illustrations and how parents and teachers can engage their kids through them.  She and her publisher, Zonderkidz, are also generously offering a giveaway, so one lucky reader will win a copy of this delightful book! (U.S. residents only - street address, no P.O. box - publisher's stipulation.)  Laura's thoughts and the giveaway will appear below the book listing.

Title: Goodnight, Ark
Written By: Laura Sassi
Illustrated By: Jane Chapman
Zonderkidz, August 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8 (according to publisher, but I think ages 2-3 would enjoy it too :))

Themes/Topics: animals, bedtime, fear (of thunderstorms), language fun (rhyme, onomatopoeia)

Opening: "Beds are ready.
Food is stored.
Noah hollers,
"All aboard!"
Guests rush forward.
Furry, scaled,
woolly, feathered,
swishy-tailed."

Brief Synopsis: Two by two, the animals board Noah's ark.  They're supposed to settle down and go to sleep... but the heavy rain, thunder and lightning frighten them, so two by two they climb in bed with Noah!  How much can one bed take? And will anybody get any sleep?

Links To Resources: talk about onomatopoetic words - what onomatopoetic words can kids think up?  Words for eating sounds? Engine noises? Musical sounds?; Noah's Ark coloring page #1Noah's Ark coloring page #2; talk about the bible story of Noah's ark - how is it like GOODNIGHT, ARK and how is it different?; talk about fears - is anyone afraid of storms?  What other things are frightening?  What can you do to feel safe and secure when you're frightened?; the animals are described as "furry, scaled, woolly, feathered, swishy-tailed" - what animals can you think of that are furry? scaled? etc.; please see Laura's thoughts below on ways to use the illustrations; here's the link to book trailer (in case it doesn't load properly here :)) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRsc-pKmKwM




Why I Like This Book: This is a delightful story - an entertaining, clever, child-friendly twist on the original Noah's ark.  The text is the perfect length for young attention spans.  The rhyme is filled with fun onomatopoetic words that kids will enjoy joining in with.  The art is bright, colorful and engaging, filled with small details that will keep young listeners busy.  But possibly my favorite thing is the skunks who have a whole story of their own going on in the illustrations.  Start looking for them in the 4th spread and watch what happens :)

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

The Importance of Illustration - Thoughts From Laura Sassi
(A lesson for writers, and an opportunity for parents, teachers, and kids :))

Author Laura Sassi
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One of the basic rules of picture book writing is that writers need to let the illustrations tell part of the story. I understood this in principle, but it wasn’t until I saw Jane Chapman’s delightful illustrations for GOODNIGHT, ARK that it really hit home. I mean, WOW! Her illustrations truly show that principle in action and are a great reminder for me, that as a writer, I should curb any lingering tendency to over-describe or over-prescribe my texts and let the illustrators do their jobs.  

Here, then, are some great examples of how Jane used illustration to add humor and even extra plot details to GOODNIGHT, ARK. You’ll have to look carefully, for they are subtly sprinkled throughout her rich and colorful spreads:
1.Extra Animals: In addition to the key players, Jane adds extra animal guests.  I found nine extra pairs. Can you?
2. Extra (funny!)provisions: The text makes no mention of specific provisions, leaving lots of room for Jane to add humorous extras like the canned cat food that rolls across the floor on the tippiest page in the story.  It took me several reads to notice them! What other funny provisions do you see?
3. Underwear!: Every child I’ve read my story to has howled at Jane’s humorous inclusion of polka-dotted boxers quietly hanging on the line to dry.  We’ve also chuckled over the toothbrush. Both nice touches, I would never have thought of. What other humorous extras can you find?
4. Extra Plot Layer:  I don’t want to give away the most exciting part, but a certain pair of creatures is instrumental in restoring balance on the ark. In her illustrations, Jane brings out the personality of this pair in a darling way, even hinting through their gestures that they planned the whole stinky thing.  I LOVE that extra layering! 

Thanks, Laura!  To see the other stops on Laura's blog tour (6 completed, 4 upcoming) please click HERE for the links.


And now for the giveaway!  All you have to do to be entered is leave a comment telling us something funny about bedtime: a favorite trick for getting kids to bed? an unusual bedtime routine? something kids won't sleep without? some clever way kids try to get out of bedtime?  Anything fun and bedtime-related.  Bonus point if it includes an animal in some way :)

My example (which does not include animals except as occasional topics of discussion) is that when my son was little, he was never ready for sleep when he got in bed.  Instead, he had what he called his "thinking time" which inevitably (Every. Night!) involved him getting up numerous times and coming to ask me such can't-wait questions as, "How much is infinity?", "Where does wind come from?", "How many teeth does a tyrannosaurus rex have?", and "Why is it called the Milky Way?"  To which I would respond knowledgeably, "Uh......." :)

Please leave your comment by Sunday September 14 at 5 PM EDT.  A winner will be chosen at random and announced next week.  One note: the publisher stipulates that the winner must reside in the U.S. and have a street address, not a PO box, so please let us know if you're commenting just for fun and are not eligible.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!  Hurray!  Can't wait!!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


Reactions:

87 comments:

  1. What a lovely and informative post. I'm definitely going to look more closely at the illustrations. And Susanna, next time we meet, I'd love for you to teach me how to play the kazoo. :)

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  2. My son would pop up over and over to say, "There's one fing I fowgot to tell you…" It's become a family phrase. E.g. calling someone back on the phone to say, "wait, there's one fing I forgot to say…"

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  3. I'm not in the giveaway but I adore that book. Definitely one for Santa to bring :) Yay Laura!

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  4. This book sounds better all the time! I can't wait to get a copy! Congrats again, Laura!
    Hmm..something funny about bedtime? Well, my mastiff, Jambo, wasn't allowed to sleep on the bed (he had his own next to us.) But when my husband was out of town, all I had to do was look at my dog and flick my eyebrows and he'd hop up on the bed. Of course, I'd change the sheets before my husband came home- and neither Jambo or I ever said a word :-)
    Susanna, I want a kazoo performance!

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  5. My husband and his marching-band friend came to career day some years back and taught kids hard to march while playing their kazoos. Thanks for the lovely memory! I'd love the book but all I can think of is all of the ways Joshua used to stall. Now that he's almost 16 those memories are distant and faint, but I know that he'd hide his blankie and then tell us he couldn't find it. Didn't seem funny at the time but now it kind of makes me giggle. Thanks for a fun contest and for bringing back PPBF, Susanna.

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  6. Hooray for Perfect Picture Book Friday!!
    One of the funniest bedtime memories (from an adult perspective) is that whenever our youngest son got up in the night he would tiptoe into our room, walk around the side of the bed where my husband slept and put his face one inch from mine and yell MOM! My bleary eyes flew open to see his face filling my view. It always got me moving!

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  7. Two-by-two cheers for PPBF and Laura Sassi! My son's general bedtime ammo, I mean routine, is stall, wash, rinse and repeat as necessary. At bedtime he will need a drink, then there are his three baby blankets (which he used to like freezing cold and so we put them in the freezer during the day, but then they got too cold, and now he's ok with room temp. blankets), and of course he needs the dog. But sometimes the dog takes up too much room and that of course causes more delays, and then there are the adjustments to the dimmer switch, and so on.

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  8. Oh, how adorable! Noah's ark is a perennial kids' favorite, and this book really takes a fresh approach. It looks like a great addition to any bookshelf. As for a bedtime tale (or tail)...Neither of my kids will sleep without their Winnie the Pooh toys, one of which is threadbare and falling apart after 8 years. But the boys also actively play with "the Winnies" so the bears end up all over the house and in the car. Finding Winnie has become a major part of our bedtime routine. We've found them smooshed between couch cushions, hiding behind window blinds, buried under blankets, you name it. I guess you could say we have to go on a "Bear Hunt" every night.

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  9. This looks very cute! We will definitely be checking it out!

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  10. I just love reading the behind-the-scenes of how a book comes into being, and so I had fun reading about Laura's book. Sounds like a fun romp of a story too! The illos are adorable in addition.

    My older son will not be happy I'm telling you this, and it's not really a bedtime tale, but at age 18, before he moved into a dorm, he still had stuffed animals (his "bed friends") with him in bed...the same ones he's had since he was a baby! :D

    Happy Friday, Susanna!

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  11. Barb @ Grade ONEderfulSeptember 12, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Ark books for kids are always so fun and this looks like a great one, too! Thanks for sharing it.

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  12. SOOOOO happy PPBF is back. I 'went it alone' all summer (because I can't help myself!) but I can honestly say I love this day of the week schmoozing with my PB-junkie friends. Okay, WYRI Wednesday is GREAT too, but I do love to visit all the blogs! I have been following Laura's blog tour - looks terrrrriffic!

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  13. Howdy, Susanna and everyone! It's a joy to be back in the #PPBF saddle. Although it was lovely to take a 'vacation' from blogging, I truly missed all of you. :)

    What an awesome book Laura Sassi has put out there - I LOVE the rhyme (I've got to get a copy so I can study it as a mentor text), I LOVE the illustrations (hats off to Jane Chapman) and I LOVE the humor (my grandson is going to want to hear it over and over again). And Laura, thank you so much for sharing the lesson about leaving room for the illustrations - SOOOO important for me to remember as I try to craft picture book stories. :) :)

    Every child is unique - but in one aspect, I think they are all the same - not one of them wants to go to bed!!! It's almost a shame to squash their budding creativity as they find all manner of reasons they can't stay in bed or can't fall asleep. :) My three children all had their 'corner', their original baby blanket with one corner that was held lovingly to their cheek for comfort and security (can you believe we still have those blankets, tucked away in a memory box?). But when they had a bad dream, I would reach into the pocket of my robe and grab some 'fairy' dust and sprinkle it over them - it truly worked like magic - they would smile and go right back to sleep. Wish I had bottled some of it - I could have made a fortune. :) :)

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  14. Yip! Yip! Yipee! PPBF is back in full swing! And with Goodnight Ark to boot. It is a wonderful book and I'm so glad it's on the list. I loved hearing Laura's thoughts about the importance of illustrations. Her examples were great.
    I recently watched a video of my great nephew's bedtime routine. He takes his blanket and several stuffed animals from his bed to make a "nest" on the floor for his bedtime story. Then he drags the whole slew back to his bed for the night! Cute!

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  15. My son has to have all of his stuffed animals around him at bedtime

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  16. No linkup from me today - cuz I AM the headless chicken I predicted ;). Promise (kinda!) I will for next week - have PLENTY to choose from!

    This sounds absolutely delightful and FUN! Would love to win it.

    My daughter, who is ten, has at least five stuffed creatures of some sort that need to be around her for her to be "comfortable" in bed - they include a giraffe that is truly all neck, a little monkey that hugs the giraffe, a pink body pillow almost as tall as her, and a foot-shaped pillow (with toes and everything LOL). Not to mention her two "regular" pillows.

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  17. This sounds adorable!



    Reading is big at bedtime for our family. One night my son was so quiet that we assumed he had fallen asleep. But at 10:30 at night (bedtime is 8!) we heard him shut off his light. He didn't want to stop reading. :)

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  18. How precious this book looks! Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Laura, thanks for the tips on things to look for in the illustrations. I wish you and GOODNIGHT ARK much success. (Susanna, you cracked me up with the toothpaste mints comment.)

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  20. My dog gets all excited when we turn off the TV at night bcause he knows it's night-night time. He could be sound asleep on the couch, but as soon as we turn off the TV, he zooms to the bedroom, stops, and looks back as if to say, "Hey, you coming?"

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  21. TGIPPBF! Looks like a super cute PB! Thanks for sharing, Susanna.

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  22. Love the opening and the plot! Hilarious! Will have to get this one for my young nieces and nephews.

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  23. We use a point system to get our son in bed on time. He earns points for doing things throughout the day but loses them all if he doesn't get to bed on time. He then cashes in his points for privileges throughout the week. But points can only be used after he's completed his chores and homework.

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  24. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikSeptember 12, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Yay! Great PPBF pick (as always), Ms. Hill! I'm glad that PPBF is back! :) I entered my post.
    And, at bedtime, I actually go skydiving into the pacific ocean to lead to scubadiving, which somehow comes up to saving the world from obliteration time and time again. I also do it in under 30 minutes. And yes, I do live in PA. ;) Naw, I just read (so I save the world in multiple ways each evening). ;)
    Have a wonderful Friday!
    Erik

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  25. This one sounds perfectly adorable. I will be sure to check it out. Please don't put my name in the hat. Let someone else win. I have so many books already! Thanks for telling me about this one.

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  26. I can't wait to read this book. It sounds like a winner. We used to have a dachshund and anytime anyone was asleep, she joined them. She never missed an opportunity. At night she always slept with my oldest son, She'd take up the entire bed and my son would be scrunched up against the wall.

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  27. Susanna great kazoo playing :) Laura the book trailer is joyful! I am out of town with my three year old triplet grandies. They take a monkey, a bunny , and a giraffe to bed. I composed a lullaby and sing to them. One of the littles surprised me and sang all the words when I was humming the tune :)

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  28. Such a fun book! I can't wait to read it AND study the pictures like crazy. Speaking of crazy, Cupcake waits politely by the bedroom door as I ready the bed, and she jumps on when she's told to. As soon as I get comfortable, she jumps off and waits by the door again. So I have to get up, open the door, walk with her to her toy box, and (since she's afraid of the toy box) pick up toy after toy saying, "What about this one?" 50 times till she decides on a toy to take to bed with her.

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  29. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! I wrote a review of my own before I saw this page. If you'd like to read it, I'll leave it at the end of my comment. And in response to the bedtime routine, let me share a quick story about my daughter and her favorite bedtime companion, Monk (a monkey). Once on a trip to Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone when she was about eight years old, Monk was accidentally left behind in a hotel bed. We immediately called and they not only found Monk, they also kept him at the front desk until we made our way back through SD on the way home. Monk currently sleeps with my three year old granddaughter, who by the way is going to love getting a copy of Goodnight Ark next time I visit! Now, for the review... http://julianaleewriter.com/2014/09/12/goodnight-ark/

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  30. An author and illustrator team I love. The trailer is so much fun. Great first review of the season, Susanna.

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  31. Oh my goodness, I'm loving all these bedtime routines! Thanks for a great post, Susanna! Happy reading all!

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  32. I can't wait to read this now. The bedtime ritual at our house always included reading aloud,, and always wanting "just one more" or with the totally favorite book, "just one more time"!

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  33. I love this book! I've read to my story time kids as well as to my own boys. As far as the bedtime routine in our house.... my two boys and I sit on my oldest son's bed with a pile of books. Hardly, do I ever just get to read one. Then after stories I tuck each boy into bed. My youngest's bed looks like it threw up stuffed animals because there are so many. I usually just have to push a few a way to make space for him to fit. But, don't you dare try to take any out or he'll throw a royal fit! Then I always have to tickle my oldest son's back. Turn on their dinosaur night lights, give them each a kiss, tell them I love them, and then shut their door.

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  34. Glad you like the book, too, Brandie :) And what a nice bedtime routine. They're each individuals, aren't they? One with the stuffed animals and one with the tickling :)

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  35. And isn't that the best, really, Val? That they love the stories and the closeness of reading with you? It was the same in my house... moving up to the "Just one more chapter?" and "Can I just finish the page?" :)

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  36. Thanks for sharing your lovely book with us, Laura! :)

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  37. Aw! I love the story about Monk! And how wonderful that now he sleeps with your granddaughter :) There was an incident with a blue dog in South Dakota in our family that did not end so well...! :)

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  38. That is SO funny! I love that Cupcake needs a bedtime toy :) Our dogs have their own beds on the floor next to ours (they're a little large to share our bed with) but they vie over who gets which bed, and there's a great deal of laying false trails and pretending indifference until someone gets the coveted bed and the other one gives up and takes the less coveted position with a sigh :)

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  39. Thank you Janie! Thank you for noticing and complimenting my kazoo playing! :) I'm glad you enjoyed the book and trailer. Your grandies sound like they have a lovely bedtime routine :)

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  40. Isn't that just the way with dogs? :) Especially little ones, who, like toddlers, seem to take up WAY more space than they ought to :)

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  41. I hope you get to read it and enjoy it, Rosi!

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  42. The world is lucky to have you, Erik! :)

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  43. Wow! You are so organized! I would never have been able to keep track of such a system :)

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  44. It's very cute! I hope you'll all enjoy it!

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  45. It's very engaging, Johnell. The story is fun, and the art complements it wonderfully!

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  46. TG Lobo's back! So happy to see you :) Glad you like the book :)

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  47. I'm glad you enjoyed Laura's comments, Pat. They were very helpful, weren't they? And yes... the toothpaste mints... If you ever come visit, I promise not to leave them on your pillow :)

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  48. It's very cute, Kristi! I hope you'll get a chance to see it!

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  49. Don't you just love that, Dee? And don't you remember doing the same thing when you were little? Actually, I admit I still do it... give me a good Jack Reacher novel and I'll stay up WAY past my bedtime :)

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  50. Isn't it funny how particular we are when it comes to sleeping arrangements? I had a whole crew of stuffed animals I wouldn't sleep without. And My step-daughter used to have a rotating system so each of hers got a turn to sleep next to her :) No worries about the link-up! We need readers just as much as reviewers, and we all know there are only so many hours in the day!

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  51. I can totally relate! I had about 15 I slept with when I was little :)

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  52. Aw! I can just picture that! And it makes me miss the days when my kids were little and did those things. Loved your book, too, Penny - another bedtime book - great minds think alike? :)

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  53. So glad to see you back on your PPBF pony, Vivian :) It is fun for us all to be together again, isn't it? Although I confess, it was a little too nice having a blog vacation :) I hope you enjoy Laura's book. If you love it now, you'll REALLY love it when you can see the whole thing. And we have our baby blankets tucked away too :)

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  54. SO nice to see you again, Jarmila! :) And you must take care of yourself and go to bed on time - if necessary you must be quite stern and remind yourself that you will be tired in the morning if you don't go to sleep :)

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  55. I know you "went it alone" - such a trooper! Loved your pick this week, and I agree - so fun to have all the PB junkies together again :)

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  56. You're welcome, Barb! Hope you get a chance to see the actual book - it's charming!

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  57. I know, Teresa! I love hearing those how-the-book-came-to-be stories too! We promise not to tell you son you told :) And I could tell you a similar story, but I might get in trouble since my kids occasionally come over here and read :) Have a great weekend!

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  58. That's so cute, Kirsten! I love that you go on a bear hunt every night :) And my daughter has a Winnie too - one that has had the fur loved off him :)

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  59. It's a process, isn't it, Robin? :) And boy do they know how to drag it out! Still, I have to say that now mine are all too old for any real bedtime routine I miss it - especially the reading stories part :)

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  60. Hahaha! I love that Wendy! It makes me think of BEDTIME FOR FRANCES when it says she was so quiet she was the quietest thing in the room and Father woke up HUMPPHH! because that happened to me SO MANY times! :)

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  61. So glad to see you, Barbara! Hope you had a lovely summer! I'm glad my kazoo playing brought back good memories (and didn't make you cover your ears :)) And I like Joshua's ingenuity in hiding his blankie :)

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  62. It's a very cute book, Iza - you will like it because it's a little reminiscent of your work. And I love that you and Jambo snuck around behind Rob's back :) I will be happy to play my kazoo for you the next time we have lunch... if I can find it :)

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  63. Catherine! You're commenting! How did you manage! Yay! I'm sorry you can't be in the giveaway (not my rules :( ), but I hope you get to see the book because it's so cute!

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  64. Aw! I love that, Nancy! Both that he found a way to stall bedtime so cutely, and that the phrase continues today :)

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  65. It's not hard, Rosanne - if I can do it, anyone can. Really! :) And yes! Definitely look closely at the illustrations, especially the skunks :)

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  66. Yes, we just have one child. And you do get used to keeping a mental record during the day. Perhaps I should be using those braincells for other things, though. :D

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  67. Hey, if the system ain't broke, don't fix it! :)

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  68. This book looks wonderful - thanks for the peek at it, Susanna. I don't know if I have a funny story about bedtime... but one "fun" thing we started when my daughter was three or four was telling "fairy stories." Basically, I'd lie in bed with her and make up lots of stories about the adventures my daughter would get into, often featuring fairies or squirrels or another animal. Sometimes I'd tell them, but often I'd encourage my daughter to make one up. She's 10 now, and still asks for "fairy stories" once in a while.

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  69. Oh, that's lovely, Sandy! What a nice tradition! :)

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  70. Tonight's bear hunt: the Winnies turned up in the pantry next to the syrup. Go figure.

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  71. I've been following this book tour and it's on my list. I look forward to getting my hand on a copy. Thanks for sharing and so happy MPBM is back! Looking forward to reading through the list and the adding more great reads to my library list.

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  72. You and Enzo will love it, Stacy :) Hope you had fun at the whole foods shin dig :)

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  73. This sounds like a wonderful book! I imagine it was hard for all the animals to get comfortable on the ark, especially the first night.

    My husband used to make up Johnny stories for our daughter when she went to bed. I wish I had sat outside her room with a tape player recording them. When I tucked her in she wanted the night she was born story. I guess I should be grateful that she either phones us or texts us goodnight now that she is off in college.

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  74. Thanks again, for having me, Susanna! I love how these wonderful bedtime routine stories keep rolling in.

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  75. I know! Me too! The last comment reminded me of how my dad used to make up stories for me and my sister on Saturday nights - about Ruanna and Suecca who floated down the river in a dresser drawer :) (My sister's name is Rebecca, so you can see where the names came from :))

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  76. It was especially difficult for them to get comfortable in Noah's bed :) And thanks so much for sharing your bedtime story. I was telling Laura above that it reminded me of my dad telling made up stories to me and my sister, and oh how I wish I had those!

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  77. I like a new take on the old story that Laura Sassi's written.

    My bedtime routine is partially borrowed from Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I made a tune to go with, "I love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." I still sing it each night.

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  78. Wow, what a wonderful way to share Noah's story. Love the illustrations and the video was wonderful. And Laura's opening lines grabbed my attention. :-)

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  79. Glad you liked it, Tracy! It's such a cute book!

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  80. You know, I looked for this at my Barnes right after its release, the computer SAID it was in the store, but it wasn't on the shelf! I'm hoping someone pulled it off the shelf to buy :) I STILL haven't been able to read it! *sigh* Can't wait! lol

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