Bedtime for Frances



Kids can empathize with bedtime troubles.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that deadpan delivery of humorous dialogue underscores the comedy of the situation. Witty illustrations are a perfect match for the lively story.

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What's the story?

Meet Frances, a young badger with a vivid imagination and a fondness for staying up late. Her loving but exasperated parents have a hard time getting her to bed. Russell Hoban's wry humor creates a bedtime situation most kids can sympathize with and most parents will recognize. Garth Williams's illustrations of snug domestic scenes have been updated in glowing color.

Is it any good?


Russell Hoban's knowledgeable and humorous take on the eternal bedtime battle explains this story's continuing appeal to kids and their weary parents. Young children respond to Frances' inventive (yet true-to-life) imaginings with laughter and sympathy. Ultimately, Frances is a role model for learning to work out anxieties on one's own.

The artwork of Garth Williams, who also illustrated Charlotte's Web, adds drama to every page. The pictures in this 1995 edition are newly colored in a bright palette of watercolors. Each scene is drawn with great detail and humor, whether it's Mother and Father tenderly tucking Frances into bed or Frances' bathrobe-giant lurking on a rocking chair.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about settling in for bed. Do you ever feel -- or sound -- like Frances? What helps you settle down for the night?

Book details

Authors:Lillian Hoban, Russell Hoban
Illustrator:Garth Williams
Genre:Family Life
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:January 1, 1900
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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