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Bedtime for Frances (Trophy Picture Books) [Paperback]

Russell Hoban , Garth Williams
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct 1995 Trophy Picture Books
Frances does not want to go to bed. She spins out her time downstairs by having a glass of milk, a piggyback and a kiss. In bed she can't sleep so she sings an alphabet song, a friendly tiger appears, and a giant, and a troublesome crack in the ceiling. Soon she finds she is tired.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 31 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTrophy; New Ill edition (Oct 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064434516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064434515
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 20.7 x 0.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 267,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

It's bedtime for young Frances--an adorable and irrepressible little badger--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. (Ages 4 to 8) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The perfect story for all those who, like Badger, would prefer not to go off to bed" Junior --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bedtime for Frances 27 Jan 2004
By A Customer
I loved this book when I was a child but then I was afraid of the dark like Frances too. A beautifully conceived book which will reassure anyone who has ever seen monsters in their bedroom or imagined them under their bed. Charming little Frances comes up with all kinds of inventive excuses for postponing bedtime (some of which you will be all to familiar with if you have young children of your own!) and Mum and Dad are equally endearing too. This book has a sense of humour and will be loved by anyone with either a sense of humour too or a vivid imagination - or indeed both.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undimmed by Time 12 Oct 2005
My 3 y.o. found this book in the cupboard - it had been mine when I was a child and much frayed and tattered passed through the hands of our now 15 y.o. I've had to read it 8 nights in a row at bed time - he simply adores it and makes a great joke out of pretending to mistake the reading chair in the corner of his bedroom for a giant - just like Frances. He really identifies with her imagined fears and postponed sleep and, well, it works - off to bed happy as larry. The now notorious refernce to spanking? He hasn't noticed or commented on it - though it does make me think of that moment in The Incredibles when the mother is casting around trying to think of a punishment to threaten her kids with. All she can come up with is "grounding" which, as they are plummeting to earth, is nicely ironic. I really don't approve of spanking (or threatening) your children, but "I'll put you in the naughty corner" or "time out" just doesn't have the linguistic resonance to work in a piece of narrative. A tricky conundrum for the modern kid's writer, I guess!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Frances Book 18 Aug 2013
By Chris
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lovely story to read to my grandaughter...brings back memories of the first book Bread and Jam For Francis Thankyou SO much for the speed at which you posted.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  100 reviews
65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WELL! ANOTHER CONTROVERSIAL CHILDREN'S BOOK. The older I get the more amazed I become. 3 Feb 2011
By D. Blankenship - Published on Amazon.com
Ah, the first of the wonderful Frances series. Yes folks, this was the first of what is now a very well known, often read and beloved series about the adventures and misadventures of a little girl...oops, I mean badger! Frances has sort of become a classic for the wee ones.

Now you will note my five stars rating on this work. Please, before you start mindlessly hammering the negative vote button like someone apparently has done to each and every positive review of this one, read on for a bit. If you disagree with the review be so kind as to leave comments as to the reason why...that is what these reviews are for; first to inform, second so we can all discuss and learn from each other.

This is most certainly one of those books that allow the parent, grandparent or other adult responsible for a child to earn their keep. There are most certainly aspects of this book that are bound to offend some readers in this day and age and those making reading selections for their child should most certainly be aware of those issues before they make that decision as to weather or not to read this work to their charge.

This is the story of a very human like little badger girl who is fighting the good fight as to going to sleep as she should, something not at all uncommon with children. She uses many ploys such as request for milk, more kisses before sleep time and such, and then after she actually gets into bed her overly active imagination (another common trait among kids...thank goodness) takes over keeping her awake even longer. Eventually exhaustion from her silly antics our little badger girl drifts off into sleep.

Note that the book plays, through use of words and rhythm to lull a child. They play on language, along with the art work, are the strongest aspects of this book and are worth noting. It starts with a crisp staccato rhythm which has a rather hypnotic in nature and sound sort of like a beginning reader. The language, the rhythm then changes in to longer soothing sentences as Frances's imagination gets the better of her when she is alone. There are of course if first rate and grabs the attention of not only the adult reader but also that of the child.

That is what the book is about. Now for the controversial issues:

First of course is the spanking issue. While no spanking is administered in the book, it is certainly threatened and certainly implied and is certainly one of the fears Frances faces. Some people believe in and do indeed spank their children and some people are extremely anti-spanking. Now I received my share of spankings as a kid and it did not damage me as far as I can tell. Neither my wife nor I were into spanking our own children when they were growing up and we most certainly were not into spanking our grandsons. They all seemed to grow up fine. I do think there is a difference in spanking, corporal punishment and child abuse and the three should not be confused...it is far too important an issue.

As to the objection that the book shows daddy badger smoking a pipe, and both mom and dad actually watching T.V., well, I hardly know what to say. I suppose if a parent feels that strongly about either issue, i.e. pipe smoking or T.V., then they certainly have that right to do so. Who am I to cast stones? I personally think that this objection is just a bit silly and hysterical...but then again, who am I to judge others? I know I am a pipe smoker...my wife will not allow it to be smoked in the house and I am banished to the back porch and woods behind the barn, but as I hate T.V. with a passion and watch very little of it, I suppose I would have some redeeming qualities to these folks.

As to the objection that our little badger girl imagines scary things like spiders, tigers and bears in her room and that the book will "give my kid tips on how to avoid bedtime, ergo increasing the hassle he or she gives me," is again, almost out there on the fringe. If a kid does not imagine scary things that go bump in the night, then he or she is a very rare sort of human being I should think. A kid that does not fight going to bed at a certain time each night is also a rare little critter too. Hey, these are all a part of growing up. I really don't know what to say about this objection.

All in all I feel this is a good children's book and did not hesitate one bit in reading it to our children and grandchildren. There again I will say that I took the time to review this book (as I have and do all such books) before I read them to the little ones and made an adult decision after due consideration.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
72 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy talk 4 Jan 2005
By JS - Published on Amazon.com
This is a great book, and brilliantly illustrated. The others in the series (like Bread and Jam for Frances) did not use the same artist and have an inferior look. The picture of Frances and her Father brushing their fangs before bed is incredibly cute, and my children think the picture of the father half awake in bed is hilarious. The original black and white illustrations are actually better and more scary-looking. Get an older copy if you can find it.
To the more hysterical people in this forum who think their children are irreparably harmed by the spanking reference: I think what you really don't like is that the father threatens a spanking without being portrayed as some horrible monster. Aren't books supposed to be about learning? Just tell your children that back when this book was written (1960) smacking kids on the butt was a fairly common form of discipline. Tell them that you think this is wrong, although some parents today disagree. If your children are still traumatized, then you better home school them, because they are simply too emotionally fragile to go out in the real world.
48 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spanking the badger 16 Oct 2004
By Carin J. Reddig - Published on Amazon.com
Francis was my favorite as a kid - and I love her still. I think it is sad that something as completely wonderful as a Francis book has to spark controversy - but then nowadays what doesn't? Thank God I grew up in the seventies when we were still allowed to have fun, be kids and yes, occassionally, get our little badger bottoms beat if we got cheeky.

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bedtime for Frances helps get little ones to bed 10 Dec 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Frances was a classic when I was little. Now I read the same stories to my son. Whenever he keeps stalling, not wanting to go to bed I pull out Bedtime For Frances and read it to him. He smiles because so many of Frances' attempts to stay up late are so similar to his own. We don't spank, but he gets the idea that going to bed is serious business. When the story is over I ask him, "Now, what is your job?" and he closes his eyes with a sweet smile on his face. We both feel better and I can turn out the light.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the spanking controversy 24 Feb 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Like all the Frances books, this one is entertaining, and the Frances character is an excellent role model for girls; she is strong willed, creative, and challenges authority at every turn. Do not miss out on or condemn this wonderful, beautifully illustrated and very funny story because you dislike spankings. Most children and adults are competent to deal with a scene wherein a grumpy, frequently-disrupted father threatens to spank a child if she wakes him up one more time, particularly if, as in this story, the scene is done in a humourous way. Spankings, whether you agree with them are not, are a fact of life: many parents choose not to spank, but most children are aware that spankings exist! Further, the spanking (which does not actually occur) is far from terrifying to Francis, nor should it be to you. If the threatened spanking disturbs you, make this a "teachable moment" and talk to your child about why you have chosen not to spank, why you think it is wrong, and why some parents in the "olden days" did: out of tiredness, frustration, or the sense that it was a parental obligation and a societal expectation... after all, this book is 40 years old. It is far better, in my opinion, to discuss your values with your child at opportunities like this than it is to simply censor difficult topics.
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