There are some children's books that I firmly believe are more important for parents to read than for children to hear and "Bedtime for Frances" may well be one of them. Frances is a determined young badger cub created by Russell Hoban who experiences the challenges of growing up with help from her devoted and honest parents. This book, with illustrations by Garth Williams, was originally published in 1960, which explains why there is a reference to spanking. Yes, today we look at that reference and even if we are not appalled outright we have to at least have second thoughts. But the strength of the Frances books is that there show how she becomes a critical and independent thinker, and certainly that is to be cherished.
The story is about Mother and Father trying to put Frances to bed at 7, when it was her bedtime. Unfortunately, Frances, like many a human child, is not at all sleepy and keeps coming up with ways to put off going to sleep. Her imagination, and her stomach, keep getting the better of her and while her parents are the most reasonable of badgers, they do have their limit as to how many of Frances' requests they will honor. I especially like the way that Father deals with the tiger and the giant that might be in France's room. Teachers interested in using "Bedtime for Frances" in the classroom should be aware that there is an excellent study guide for the book prepared by Mary Bolte, which should help deal with the "spanking" issue. This is important because apart from that one aspect, this is a wonderful book for teaching children without them realizing they are learning anything.