Thursday, July 31, 2008

Friday Book Review: Bedtime!

by Ruth Freeman Swain
illustrated by Cat Bowman Smith

Bedtime! is a non-fiction book about the history of and different kinds of beds. We all sleep, but it's amazing how differently we all do the same thing. This book follows beds through various times: ancient Egypt and China, the Middle Ages, and every time in between. My kids especially loved seeing beds in different locations: the desert, trains, semi-trucks, boats, the side of a mountain (yikes!), and outer space. My kids were delighted to see that the book made special mention of one bed in a manger.

Sometimes fact-books are overstimulating because of their hodge-podge of information strewn throughout the page. While great for older kids, younger kids could easily get lost. In Bedtime! the facts are given to form a continuous "story," not a spattering of facts.

If you love this one, check out Ruth Freeman Swain's other fun fact books.
While I enjoyed both of these books, Bedtime! is still my favorite of Swain's collection. However, you may enjoy these others even more, considering that these are both better sellers than Bedtime!
Enrichment: You've reached the end and you're aching for more? Turn the last page to see facts about sleep. It includes a part that talks about how when we're getting ready for bed, someone on the other side of the world is just waking up! This led me to teach my kids about the position of the sun with the rotation of the earth and how that effects day and night around the world. I assure you I explained in it more simplistic terms. ha!
I used a mirror to reflect light from the sun onto our globe (but you could just use a ball). It shows how while one side of the earth gets light, the other is in shadow and it is night there. I've found this works best, because a flashlight simply isn't bright enough...but I guess you could go in a totally dark room to do this with a flashlight.

Buy It: Bedtime! is available on for $14.17 (including shipping). Or, if you prefer Amazon, it's $15.95 with free Super Saver shipping. Even better, search Amazon's new and used to find it for one penny (plus shipping, of course).

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