Category Archives: Bedtime Stories
Bedroom Design: Guest Sheets
Post by Laura Cheng.
The holidays are here and so are the out of town friends and family. (To the tune of It’s Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas”) My home is beginning to look alot like a bed and breakfast. That means the guest bedroom is getting its fair share of use. And so are the sheets. As a hostess, it may be impossible to maintain as sanitary a home as I like during the holidays, but golly, those sheets sure will be comfortable! Having a lovely, inviting bed is important to me, so let’s talk sheets! Here are my current top 3 contenders currently making their rounds in my guest bedroom.
I have a set of Raymond Waites bedding and it sets the par for comfort. There is some truth to a higher thread count, but I haven’t bought into the hype. A magnificent number (usually followed by a magnificent price tag) does not always indicate comfort for me. At 300 thread count, it is the perfect set not only to lay out for guests, but also for everyday use. I find the designs to be neutral enough for any guest bedroom without being boring. I love the fact that it can be reasonably and easily purchased. A quick trip to Bed Bath and Beyond or Bloomingdale’s and score!
Also on my top 3 list is Land’s End No Iron Supima Sateen Sheets. The use of the phrase “no iron” is enough for me to embrace these sheet sets faster than a frozen turkey can explode in a deep fryer. With cooking, cleaning, and entertaining on my mind, the last thing I need to add on to the list is ironing. Any company can market that term, but these sheets really stand up to the test. Land’s End also gets an additional plus in my book because they sell sheets in hard to find Twin-XL size.
For any discerning guest who favors elegance and luxury, I lay out Charles P. Rogers’s 400 Thread Count Prima Cotton Sheets. It’s not easy for dark colors to make it out of a washing machine alive, alive and vibrant, but I have these in the sesame color and they really shine, wash after wash. These sheets are extra roomy. With other sheet sets, I find it harder to get my bed dressed than my toddler. And the bed doesn’t squirm or talk back! Not so with this sheet set. Even on my pillow-topped mattresses, there is ample room still left. Where other pillowcases squish the stuffing in my king sized pillows into shape, theses allow them float and drift happily. And this makes me a happy hostess.
Bedtime Stories: Z is for Moose
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham. Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky.
Let’s be honest: concept books are almost always SUPER boring to read. These are the ABC books, the 1,2,3 books, the “this is a dodecahedron” books. Yes, lots of them have choppy rhyme schemes in an attempt to make it less boring, and sometimes you get to count monkeys! Or sheep! Or yaks! But regardless, they continue to be boring. If you were asked to choose between counting yaks or counting fish, which would you choose? Easy. The answer is: NEITHER.
This new abecedarian manages to weave in the story of an overeager moose who just can’t wait till his turn. All the other letter representations, the apple, the bear, etc. are patiently waiting in line. Moose, in his excitement, tramps across several scenes in an attempt to get to “M”. But when Zebra decides last minute to use the mouse for M, Moose loses it and begins to deface the other letters. “R is for Ring” is crossed out in angry black pen, replaced with “R is for MOOSE”
If your kid (or yourself) has a decent grasp of the alphabet, this is a good choice. It’s more amusing than it is educational. And they are sure to get a laugh out of hearing: O is for Moose!
Bedtime Stories: The Shadow Society
Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski.
Nothing in Darcy Jones’s life has ever been simple. Or normal. Or stable. Left outside of a Chicago firehouse at an early age, she has been in and out of foster homes for most of her life, and her earliest years are a complete blank. She has alway chosen to leave the past forgotten, but when a mysterious boy shows up at her high school, she suddenly finds herself wondering about who she is, who she was, and why this young man seems to be the key to understanding it all.
When this mysterious young man, with whom she has been working on an English project, slaps strange flame-filled cuffs on her and calls her “Shade” I think Darcy realizes that she is about to learn a whole lot about herself. And when she manages to vanish into thin air and flee her captor, I think she realizes that what she learns will be pretty darn interesting.
This is the first novel by Marie Rutkoski outside of her Petra Kronos trilogy, whose third installment was released about a year ago. It is a much more complex novel than the Petra Kronos books, partly because it seems less evocative of other teen fantasy novels, partly because the main character is older, more damaged, less sure of what to do. It’s not the most incredible book ever written; nevertheless, I had a hard time putting it down at night.
Bedtime Stories: Myths and Heroes
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Look and Find Myths and Heroes written my Melanie Zanoza Barteime; illustrated by Douglas Holgate.
So you love looking for Waldo but perhaps you have found him already. Or maybe you long to seek something hidden in a crowd but also want to tell yourself it’s “educational”? Well, then, look no further! Look and Find Myths and Heroes has it all! Is that Artemis I see, poised with her bow? Look out, Theseus! There’s the Minotaur, right behind you! Now where is that awesome Heracles T-shirt?
Okay, so this isn’t high art or cultural studies, in fact despite the subject matter, there is practically no information about any of these personages from ancient Greek culture. And they are not nearly as challenging as the Waldo books; each page looks like one corner of Where’s Waldo? blown up into a two-page spread. But you know what? It’s still pretty busy and it’s still pretty fun. There’s tons of stuff to look for, including protein shakes for Heracles, Apollo’s lyre and souvlaki for, well, all the Greeks! Nevertheless, if you are looking to learn anything about mythology, this book is sadly lacking in even the most basic information. But for a quick little mental challenge before bedtime, it’s definitely worth a look.
Bedtime Stories: My Dad is Big and Strong, BUT… and Piiips!
My Dad Is Big and Strong, BUT…: A Bedtime Story by Coralie Saudo, illustrated by Kris DiGiacomo.
Hey look, kids! It’s a proper bedtime story! I just picked this one up at the library and though the humor may be lost on my son, I think it’s pretty darned funny. Maybe he doesn’t recognize what a pain in the butt he is, but I sure do!
This is one of those role-reversal books. Narrated by the son, it begins: My dad is big and strong, BUT every night at bedtime it’s the same routine. You can guess where it goes from here. Dad wants just ONE more book. Dad doesn’t want to go to sleep in his room. Dad’s afraid of the dark! Maybe every parent goes through the same nonsense every night, but this story was so close to our daily reality that it was pretty remarkable. My kid apparently did not see himself in that decryption at all; ironic given his demand immediately afterward to read just ONE more book. Kids!
Preparing to write this review, I learned that the author, Coralie Saudo, is a French author which is interesting because the book reminded me very much of another French picture book called Piiips! in which a mother and father bird are tormenting their poor baby bird by calling him out of bed multiple times for various little demands. Perhaps this is a strong French literary tradition. Or, maybe it’s just these two books. Well, if you read French, Piiips! by Anne Isabelle is a fun read, and if you don’t read French then you can stick with My Dad is Big and Strong, BUT…