Bedtime for Frances

Bedtime for Frances

by Russell Hoban, Garth Williams (Illustrator)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Trade Paperback, 31 pages
Price: $7.99
Used Price: $4.50 (1 in stock) Condition Policy

It's bedtime for young Frances, and everyone is ready but her. At 7:00 p.m. Frances is wide awake and bursting with youthful excitement. She tries every delay tactic she can muster—from demanding extra hugs and kisses to volleying a series of urgent last-minute questions ("May I sleep with my teddy bear?" "May I have my door open?"). She's almost positive there are spiders, giants, and tigers in her room.

Any parent will quickly identify with this phenomenon—how the last minutes of the day suddenly become the most action-packed. Garth Williams' illustrations complement Russell Hoban's sweet story perfectly, capturing the endless energy and overactive imagination of Frances, and the waning patience of her exhausted parents. Bedtime for Frances is the perfect goodnight story to tell your wide-eyed children. And never fear, like Frances, they too will eventually, contentedly, drift off to sleep.

While we were reading reviews of this book on, we were amazed (and amused) by all the negative remarks about it. This one sums up the complaints well:

"When we sat down to read it, I was horrified. "Father" smokes a pipe, both parents watch television, and Frances is threatened with a spanking if she doesn't go to sleep. . ."


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  A Lovely Bedtime Story
Albanyaloe of South Africa, 6/10/2011
It's bedtime for Francis. Or is it? Every child will appreciate the dilemma Francis goes through as she struggles against her bedtime and pursues various tactics to delay the process. Her simple child like fears of the dark,noises and such will be familiar to other children. Her fears are written about in such an obviously humorous manner, the joke being on Francis, that they will not alarm even timid readers. Her parents are depicited as loving, but eventually firm parents, when pushed to the limit by a very tired little badger. Garth Williams is a good illustrator who seems to capture moods well. He has done justice to this story as usual. I recommend other Francis books as well, gentle stories for children, with a special humour.