Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 59: Knuffle Bunny

Oh, how my son loves to read Knuffle Bunny!  There are so many things we love about this story that I don't know where to start.  If you haven't read it yet, you have to find a copy somewhere.  It is fabulous!  First, the general story line:  little Trixie accompanies her daddy to the laundromat with her favorite lovey in tow, only to accidentally leave it behind.  Unfortunately for Trixie and her daddy, she can't yet talk to tell him when she realizes Knuffle Bunny is gone.   "Aggle flaggle klabble!" she yells in desperation.  "That's right," replies her daddy, in a way all of us parents probably have at one time or another, "We're going home."  Nice try, dad.  Frustrated, Trixie tries again.  "Aggle flaggle klabble!  Blaggle plabble!"  Then pointing, "Wumby flappy?" And finally starting to tear, "Snurp."   My son just laughs and laughs and laughs at this part, and loves to say it over and over -- especially the snurp.  What child can't relate to a parent not understanding what he or she is trying to say?  And what parent can't relate to the frustration of the exact same thing?  My son loves the way this exchange plays out, and from a parent's perspective, I think Willems depicts everything about the situation perfectly.  Trixie bawls.  She goes boneless (my favorite part!) until finally, they arrive back home, miserable and cranky.  And then comes my husband's favorite part:  the mom opens the door and immediately noticing he is gone says, "Where's Knuffle Bunny?"  The relevance of the story to both parent and child is priceless, as are many other elements of the story:  the characters' expressions, the emotions they convey, and the illustrations throughout.  I just love the black and white photographs that serve as the background of all the illustrations (from nearby Willems' home in Brooklyn) and the colorful cartoon pictures that are superimposed upon them.  The contrast of the two is so striking and helps keep the pictures from being too busy for young readers.  It's a perfect combination, especially for a story that is short and simple in itself.  I will never forget the time I left "Rocky Racoon" (my favorite stuffed animal at the time) at a Barney ATM machine in Bloomfield, CT.  I was probably four or five, so unlike Trixie was actually able to tell my dad I had left him behind once I realized what had happened.  Also unlike Trixie, however, Rocky was gone when we went back.  I was crushed.   Rocky Raccoon was gone forever.  I'm still kind of scarred, I think.  Fortunately, I haven't yet had to endure such a crisis as a parent, but I'm sure my time will come.  When it does, I'll hope that our Knuffle Bunny tale will also have a happy ending.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 58: Gallop!

There are several books in this fascinating "Scanimation" series by Rufus Butler Seder:  Gallop!, Swing!, and Waddle!  If you've never seen them on display at your local bookstore or library, you've got to check them out.  Seder uses an exceptionally cool visual technique called scanimation to create images that move back and forth as you turn each page.  Dogs run, chimps swing, turtles swim, eagles soar... I know it doesn't sound like much, but believe me when I say that these books are mesmerizingly fun.  I honestly have no idea how scanimation really works, as it is apparently just an exceptionally clever overlay of stripes and still images, but it does.  And it's very, very cool.   There is bold, simple, colorful text to accompany each picture, but in my opinion, the book is really only worth reading for the images.   I don't think anyone picks these books up for their story lines anyway, though, so that's okay.  I find the choice of rhyming sound effects for each picture to be a bit odd at times, but my son likes saying them and thinks they are fun.  ("Can you gallop like a horse?  Giddyup-a-loo!  Can you strut like a rooster?  Cock-a-doodle-doo!")   One thing I do like about the text is that it is simple enough that budding readers will most likely be able to read it on their own... But back to the pictures.  They are simply fascinating to babies, children and adults, alike.  I honestly want to tear the pages open each time I read it to see how the images work, and am secretly hoping that one day one of my children will destroy a page enough that I can see inside.   Unfortunately for me, the books are actually quite sturdy and well-made, so I'll just have to keep resisting the urge to dissect them.  Fantastically magical, these are well worth a look!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 57: The Cat in the Hat

We check the forecast every day
Another rainy day, they say?
Again?? Again!  Oh not again!
Where or where do we begin?
What fun to have?  What things to do?
To keep us sane so we're not blue?
Building forts and castles tall
Restless children climb the wall
Out we all go anyway
Inside again we cannot stay!
Puddle boots on: stomp, stomp, stomp!
Having fun on our rainy romp
Back in again, all warm and dry
"It's story time!" the kids both cry
So many books from which to choose
(If mommy can resist a snooze)
"What shall we read?" I ask my son
(Who never can pick only one)
"A book about trucks or dinosaurs?
Henry and Mudge? A mouse that roars?"
"I know!" he says, "This one is fun!
  Oh so fun on this day without sun!"
Off to our book bin he hopped with much glee
Grabbed an old favorite, then showed it to me
"The Cat in the Hat!" he exclaimed with a smile
And we snuggled up on to the couch for awhile
Turning the pages, we laughed our way through,
I might call my children Thing One and Thing Two
Oh the mess they can make in just two seconds flat!
I need that machine like the Cat in the Hat
But those moments are perfect -- trade them I would not
For the cleanest and neatest, best house on the lot
Stories make some of our best memories
And I'll cherish them always, these days just like these
With my kids on my lap (and chaos all around)
We read and we read, love and cuddles abound
So what story to feature today on our blog?
Today on this humid wet day day full of sog?
The Cat and the Hat!  But of course! Yes indeed!
  Seuss books are delightful -- all of them you must read!
For although it is wet and the sun is not sunny
His stories bring lots of good fun that is funny.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 56: Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

I'm so happy our friend Melinda introduced us to Kevin Henkes.  We just love his books!  My son has asked to read this story several times a day since we took it out of the library last week and it has quickly become a favorite.  There are so many things I love about this book that I'm not sure where to start.  Lilly is a sassy, precocious, red-cowboy-boot-wearing free-spirit of a mouse.  She loves school, especially her teacher Mr. Slinger, and wants to be a teacher just like him when she grows up.  Lilly writes stories and draws pictures of Mr. Slinger, and even stays after school to help him clap out erasers.  You could say she's your classic wannabe teacher's pet.  But when Lilly can't wait to show off her new purple plastic purse and her movie-star sunglasses to everyone in the class, she sees a different side of Mr. Slinger:  the firm teacher (aka "big, fat, mean, Mr. Stealing teacher!")  The tale that unfolds from here is one that I think everyone can relate to.  Who hasn't, at some time in his or her life, acted upon impulse, only to deeply regret it later?  There are so many great lessons to be learned from Lilly's decisions in this book (both good and bad), and I just love the way this story plays out.  The illustrations are fantastic, too, especially Lilly's expressions.  Be sure read the captions within the pictures, as well!  Children of all ages will relate to Lilly and her feelings, and this must be a favorite book of elementary and preschool teachers everywhere.  I find this particularly relevant to my son at the moment, who, at nearly three and a half, is definitely starting to push his limits with us a bit more.  I wonder if part of the reason he loves this book so much right now is that he sees a bit of himself in Lilly.  As parents, we're trying to help him see the importance of patience, forgiveness, good manners, and following rules, even when he doesn't want to.  And, just like Lilly, he sometimes learns the hard way that he has to accept responsibility for his actions. (One of his favorite parts of the story is when Lilly tells Mr. Slinger she is "really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really sorry."  He gets a big smile on his face every time we read it.)  These are important lessons for all children, I think, and I just love the way Henkes expresses them within such a delightfully fun story.  Definitely add this one to your must-read list.  Like Lilly's movie-star sunglasses, this book is simply fabulous!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 55: Everywhere Babies

A month or so ago, I featured Harriet Zierfert's Waiting for Baby in honor of my many friends who were pregnant at the time.  Well, those friends have now had their babies, including two dear friends of mine from college who welcomed their little ones into the world in the past two days (congratulations, Steffeys and Hicks!)  So now, rather than simply waiting for babies, there are babies everywhere!  Hooray!  Along with Waiting for Baby, Everywhere Babies was my son's favorite book before my daughter was born.  He was two and a half at the time, and we were desperately trying to get him used to the idea of becoming a big brother and having a little baby around the house.  He just fell in love with this book and still loves to read it even now that his little sister is almost ten months old.  (In fact, I just had to take a break from writing this to read it to him.)  Everywhere Babies is simply wonderful for children of all ages.  It describes all the things that babies do and the way they are loved by their families.  "Everyday, everywhere, babies are born," kissed, dressed, fed, rocked, and carried.  They make noise, play games, crawl, walk, and most importantly, are loved for "being so wonderful just as they are."  The lines have a lovely rhythmic flow to them as they describe the way babies grow throughout their first year, and Marla Frazee's illustrations do a fabulous job of depicting these wonderful events.  There are so many things I love about her pictures, from the way they show all kinds of different families to the accurate little details in her drawings that will make any parent smile.  (As an exhausted nursing mom, I particularly love the way she depicts the mom asleep in the rocking chair!  Marla Frazee must be a mother.)  This book would make a great gift for any child, particularly one who is about to or has recently become a big brother or sister.  Yay for babies everywhere!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 54: DK's my first board books

My son just loves this series of books, and even my daughter is beginning to love them, too.  Straightforward and simple, theses DK books cover a range of topics, from colors, numbers, and the ABCs to dinosaurs, tractors and trucks.  There are even holiday editions for Passover, Christmas, and Halloween, and Spanish versions of several of the titles, as well.  The pages within have different themes -- in the animals book, for example, there are categories for swimmers, animals on the farm, creepy crawlies, striped animals, etc. -- and vivid photographs of each topic.  We have several of these books,  and have found them to be engaging and fun in different ways at different ages.  When my son was about a year old, he loved to turn the pages of these books and study the pictures.   When we would read the animals book, he especially loved the "noisy" page; we would make the sound and he would point to the animal that made it.  Now, he goes through each picture one by one, excitedly naming all of the animals himself.  I just love that he knows what kiwi birds, bush babies, tomato frogs, lionfish, and wallabies are! The numbers book certainly helped as he was learning his basic numbers and to count from one to ten, but even now that he can easily count to one hundred, he is learning from the more advanced pages at the end that address the concepts of addition and subtraction.  And I can't tell you how many times he has counted each vehicle on the "50 fast toy cars" page.  One of his new favorites is the dinosaur book, and I have no doubt that it won't be long before he knows the name of every dinosaur and prehistoric reptile it mentions.  Now I just need to make sure I'm pronouncing them correctly!  With multiple pictures on a page, these books are great whether you are reading them with your little one or he is simply looking at the pictures on his own.  (My son loves reading them in the car!)  With so many titles and topics to choose from, the DK "My first" board books are a wonderful addition to any child's library.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 53: Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type

"Farmer Brown has a problem.  His cows like to type.  All day long he hears click, clack, moo.  Click, clack, moo.  Clickety, clack, moo."  This fun, witty story had my son laughing from page one!  My husband and I find it hilarious, too, and we all just love reading it together.  My son loves the silliness of the whole story and can't wait to sing out "click, clack, moo.  Click, clack, moo.  Clickety, clack, moo!" as exuberantly as he can.  And cows that type?  He finds that quite hysterical in itself.   What are they typing about?  Oh, those crafty cows don't just type any old message to Farmer Brown.    The barns are cold, so along with the hens, the cows decide they need electric blankets to keep them warm at night.  When Farmer Brown dismisses their request, they go on strike, leaving a new note on the barn door: "Closed.  No milk.  No eggs."  The story and result of the ensuing negotiations is fantastically funny and bound to make both you and your child laugh outloud.   Betsy Lewin's illustrations have a fun, cartoon-like quality to them, and seem to fit Doreen Cronin's story line perfectly.  I also love how Cronin interjects more complicated vocabulary in the middle of what is otherwise a rather simple text:  "Duck was a neutral party, so he brought the ultimatum to the cows."   It makes my son (and us!) laugh and want to read it again and again, which is really all we can ask for in a book sometimes.  You could use this story to talk with your child about what it means to negotiate and compromise (something we, as parents, all find ourselves doing with our children -- perhaps more often than we would like!) but whether you read it just for fun or look for a lesson in the story, it's a great, silly read that children and adults are bound to love.

Day 52: Goodnight Gorilla

While we're on the topic of great zoo books, I thought now would be a good time to feature one of our other favorites, Goodnight Gorilla.  It's not strictly a wordless picture book, but aside from the zookeeper saying "Goodnight" to his animal friends, it is up to the reader to tell the rest of the story.  The pictures, of course, do the job all on their own -- and an amazing one, at that -- but I always love seeing what my son thinks the characters are saying, from the sneaky gorilla who steals the zookeeper's keys to the zookeeper's wife who wakes to find her bedroom full of animals.  Each time we read it, we find different details in the pictures that we love, too:  the toys in the animals' cages, the photos on the wall, the mouse carrying the gorilla's banana.  And of course, we just love the silly ending.  For whatever reason, it took me a while to warm up to the idea of wordless picture books, but I love them now.  I think it just required a conscious shift in my reading perspective from that of an adult to that of a parent.  As adult readers, I think it's easy to forget that our children aren't focused on the words like we are; they are busy studying the pictures.  That's what makes a book like this one so fun.   See what your child notices in the illustrations, and better yet, have her tell you the story.  Chances are, she'll find things you never noticed on your own.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 51: A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Philip and Erin Stead have created a beautiful masterpiece in A Sick Day for Amos McGee.  We adore this story about a sweet old zookeeper and his beloved animals and love the fabulous illustrations even more.  Amos McGee is the city zookeeper.  He gets up every morning, puts on a fresh pressed uniform, and rides the number five bus to the zoo.  Although he has a lot to do when he gets there, he always makes time to visit his good friends.  He plays chess with the elephant, runs races with the tortoise (who always wins), sits quietly with the shy penguin, lends a handkerchief to the sniffly rhinoceros, and reads stories to the owl (who is afraid of the dark) at sunset.  Then he returns home to rest before another busy day ahead.  When Amos wakes up sick one day and is unable to go to work, he receives a pleasant surprise:  his animal friends come to return the favor and take care of him!  It's a wonderful tale of friendship that has some of the most expressive and unique illustrations I have seen.  In fact, when I went to save the image from Barnes and Noble's website, I saw that it was the 2011 Caldecott winner -- deservedly so!  A big congratulations to artist Erin Stead, whose woodblock print and pencil drawings are simply incredible and tell the story in and of themselves; a sign of a truly great picture book, in my opinion.  In fact, my favorite pages are the only two in the book that have no words at all, with the animals waiting for and then riding on the city bus.  If you haven't yet discovered this wonderful story, look for it the next time you go to the library.  It is bound to be a classic in our house.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 50: Dinosaurumpus

A few weeks ago when we were at the library, the librarian overheard my son singing along to the Animal Boogie as we were reading it.  "If you like the Animal Boogie," she told him, "you'll like this one, too,"  and she handed us Dinosaurumpus.  I can't help but say the words to a funky little beat, and my son loves to dance around like the dinosaurs while we read it.  It's rhymes are great, the illustrations are colorful, and it's just an all-around fun book to read.  It features some of the classic dinosaurs that we all know and love -- stegosaurus, triceratops, tyrannosaurus -- but introduces some other good new species, as well (though I'm not always sure I'm pronouncing them correctly.  Deinosuchus?  Deinonychuses?  I make my best guess and sing on, trying not to interrupt the flow!)  It's actually a really cute story to read before bed, too, as all the dinosaurs eventually get tired from their rumpus and fall fast asleep at the end.  Just like my son, they seem to be able to go from all-out rumpus mode to sleep in a matter of minutes.  There's a fun chorus that is repeated on each page, making it easy for kids to sing along and feel the beat as you read.  "Shake, shake, shudder near the sludgy old swamp.  The dinosaurs are coming.  Get ready to romp!"  If your child loves dinosaurs, dancing, or sing-along stories, Dinosaurumpus is bound to be a hit.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 49: Little Blue Truck

My son has some kind of innate truck magnetism.  If a truck book is the needle and the library is the haystack, he can find that book in about 10 seconds.  It's amazing.  At a library visit several months ago, he came running over with a new story in hand and a big smile on his face.  "A blue truck book, Mum Mum!  A blue truck book!"   That particular story was Little Blue Truck Leads the Way, the sequel to Alice Schertle's popular Little Blue Truck.  Once we realized it was a sequel, we had to find the first book, too.  Both are wonderful, so we figured we'd feature the original story first.  Little Blue Truck is a fun, charming story about friendship and working together.  Aside from a blue truck, it features some of my son's other favorite things:  a giant dump truck and animals.  It's no wonder it was love at first read!  The lyrical rhyming lines are fun to read aloud, and will also help younger children learn their animal sounds. "'Cluck!' said a chicken, and her chick said, 'Peep!' 'Maaa!' said a goat.  Blue said, 'Beep!'  The illustrations, story, and message are all wonderful, making this a fabulous book to share with your child.  While many boys will no doubt like it because of the trucks, I think girls will enjoy it, too.  We hope you love it as much as we do!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 48: The Kissing Hand

I hope all you moms out there had a wonderful day yesterday!  It's been fun reading about people's favorite "mothering" books; I'm sure there will be many featured throughout the year ahead.  Even though Mother's Day is over, I wanted to feature one last mother and child themed book this week.  I considered waiting to write about The Kissing Hand until my son heads off to preschool for the first time, but I thought this book's message of motherly love made it a perfect post for today. 

Oh how we love The Kissing Hand!  Little Chester raccoon is getting ready to head off to school for the first time, but he doesn't want to go.  He's nervous and scared, and would rather stay home and read his books, swing on his swing, and be with his mother.  "Sometimes we all have to do things that we don't want to do," his mommy tells him gently.  "Even if they seem strange and scary at first."  Fortunately for sweet little Chester, Mother Raccoon has a very special secret -- one that was passed down to her from her mother and grandmother -- that will make his nights away at school feel as cozy as his days at home:  the Kissing Hand.  She takes his paw in hers, spreads his tiny fingers, and plants a kiss right in the middle of his palm.  "Whenever you feel lonely and need a little loving from home, just press your hand to your cheek and think, 'Mommy loves you. Mommy loves you.' And that very kiss will jump to your face and fill you with toasty warm thoughts." 

The Kissing Hand is a perfect reminder to children that a parent's love will always be with them, even if they are apart, and is a perfect book for any little one about to head off to school or daycare for the first time.  It is sweet and heartwarming, and, of course, makes me cry at the the end.  It also reminds me of a cross-stitched saying that my grandmother has hanging in her house:  "A mother holds her children's hands for awhile, their hearts forever."  When we read this before bed, my son and I give each other kissing hands of our own, and I love seeing the little smile on his face as he holds his palm to his cheek.  I smile, too, for I know that someday, I will be the one needing his kissing hand as he ventures off on his own.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 47: A Mother for Choco

This adorable story of motherly love was recommended by Jenny Remley Whittaker.  (I just love getting great new suggestions from facebook friends or followers of the blog.  Thanks, Jenny!)  We brought this book home after our recent library visit, and my son just loves reading it.  I can tell he loves a story when he becomes one of the characters, and before we even finished reading it for the first time, he was flapping his wings and pretending to be Choco.  Choco is a lonely little bird in search of a mother.  He seeks out several animals who he thinks look like him, but each time, is sent on his way to continue his search.  In the end, it is a very unlikely mother -- Mrs. Bear -- who brings him into her family and shows him that the only common trait parents and children need to have in common is love.   A charming story of adoption, diversity, acceptance, and unconditional love, I think this is a wonderful story for children of all backgrounds.  While it might resonate most with adopted or foster children, all kids can learn from the book's message that parents, children, brothers, sisters, and relatives needn't look alike to be a family.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 46: Someday

I've quickly come to the conclusion that my desire to feature wonderful mothering stories this week means it's time to stock up on my Kleenex supply.  If you've been following the blog from the beginning, you know by now that I cry easily when reading some stories, particularly if they are sad, happy, sappy, touching, or in any way emotional.  I am convinced that becoming a mother forever changes ones hormones, making such teary spells inevitable. (That's my excuse, at least.)  When I asked Facebook friends about their favorite stories to read as mothers, Katherine Schuknecht mentioned Alison McGhee's Someday, saying it was so beautiful, she wished she had written it for her own daughter.  I added it to my list, checked it out of the library today, and after just one read, couldn't agree more.   It is an amazingly touching story about the journey of parenthood and all the dreams we have for our children.  In fact, if I can make it through this post without tearing up, I'll be impressed.  Written by a mother to her daughter, Someday tells the story we will all live as parents; about the love we feel for our children from the day they are born, and our hopes that they will live full, complete lives.  It begins, "One day I counted your fingers and kissed each one," and soon enough, the beautiful child who was once a baby is all grown up with a child of her own.  "Sometimes, when you sleep, I watch you dream, and I dream too...  That someday you will dive into the cool, clear water of a lake... Someday your eyes will be filled with a joy so deep that they shine... Someday you will hear something so sad that you will fold up with sorrow..."  And here is where I really start to well up:  "Someday I will stand on this porch and watch your arms waving to me until I no longer see you."  Someday is beautiful, touching, and a must read for any mother, especially if she has a daughter.   I have already decided that this will be a perfect first birthday gift for my baby girl, and I'm tempted to order a copy for my own mom, as well... maybe even in time for Mother's Day.  Someday, maybe my mom and I will sit and read it with my daughter, and no doubt, smile and cry together.

Day 45: I Love My Mommy Because...

With Mother's Day coming up this Sunday, I thought it only appropriate to feature some of our favorite books about beautiful, amazing moms and the joy of motherhood.  (Don't worry, dads.  You'll get your own featured stories come June.)  If I had been thinking ahead, I would have saved On the Night You Were Born for this week, but fortunately there are plenty of other wonderful books to share!  I Love My Mommy Because... is a beautiful little story about the many ways in which mothers of all species care for their babies.  It starts off with a mother and her child snuggling in a chair doing our favorite thing, reading.  "I love my mommy because... she reads me stories."   Next come the animal mothers and their young, complete with the appropriate names for each above each picture.  I love my mommy because... "she listens when I talk (cat and kitten)... She swims with me (gray whale and calf)... She gives me great big hugs (panda and cub.)"   My son's favorite page features the mother hen taking her chicks for a walk and the pig letting her piglets play in the mud.  The text is sweet and simple, and the illustrations of the various animals and their young are wonderful.  My son, daughter and I all love reading this one, and I especially love how it shows the way animal mommies love and care for their babies, too.  We have the board book version, which is great for sharing with even the youngest readers.  This is one of many stories that would make a perfect Mother's Day gift!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 44: Little Bear's Visit

Along with the Frog and Toad, the Little Bear books are those which I remember most vividly and fondly from my childhood.  There are several in the Little Bear series by Else Holmelund Minarik, but Little Bear's Visit has to be my favorite.  I was thrilled to get this book for my son a while back and read it with him as my mother read it to me.  Like the other Little Bear "I Can Read" stories, this one has several "chapters" that flow nicely into one another:  Grandmother and Grandfather Bear, Mother Bear's Robin, Goblin Story, and Not Tired.  The stories are sweet and entertaining, and Maurice Sendak's illustrations are wonderful.  My son's favorite chapter is the Goblin Story and he loves to recite it aloud to me in between giggles.  "He got so scared that he jumped right out of his shoes!"  I love Mother Bear's Robin, too, and every parent will be able to relate to Not Tired, especially when reading it right before bed.  There is something about the combination of Sendak's soft, expressive illustrations and Minarik's endearing, charming stories that make the Little Bear books timeless classics.  As my son and I snuggled up to read Little Bear's Visit before bed last night, I knew it would be the perfect book to feature today.  My dad and stepmother had just come to visit for the day yesterday, so my little cubs were thrilled to have had a visit from their Grandma and Grandpa Bears.  We've been spending lots of time outside during these beautiful spring days and enjoying the company of our own families of robins in the yard.  And, we read the Goblin Story four times in a row last night, since my son, of course, is "never tired."  If you have rainy days ahead of you like we do this week, look for these next time you are at the library.  We're sure you and your little bear will love them!