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Summary: The Prince does not want to go to sleep. The King and Queen try doctors and dancers; magicians and jugglers; songs and food — but nothing worked. Then one night an old lady came to the gate. Does she have the answer to this problem? This picture book is a royal version of an every-day dilemma for many families.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 7; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Reading Level: 3.4
Age of Child: Shared with a group of kids from 5 to 7 years old.
Young Reader Reaction: I shared this book with Kindergartners and first graders at 5 o'clock in the afternoon (after they had been in school since 7:30 AM). Still, the kids were captivated by this story. It was a story line they could all relate to.
Adult Reader Reaction: As an adult, I enjoyed sharing this story. As a children's librarian, I loved the ending!
Pros: Pictures and rhyming text keep the kids engaged in the story. It will lead to reading more books at bedtime!
Cons: Plan to spend more time reading at bedtime.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. Buy, especially if you have a child that struggles to go to sleep.
Educational Themes: Use this book to talk about your bedtime routine and what helps your kids go to sleep. Ask them what suggestions they would have for the prince. As you read the story, ask the kids to predict the outcome of the ideas the King and Queen tried. Prediction is a great reading tool and keeps the kids involved in the story. There are some words that may be new to the kids and can be used to increase their vocabulary — gestures, conjectures, ludicrous. You can teach numbers and counting by counting the sheep pictured and numbered inside the front/back of the book and on the title page. At the end of the book there is a perfect lead in to a discussion about imagination.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, rhyme, family