Snuggling Up to Sleepytime Nursery Rhymes: The Bedtime Book by Mary Engelbreit

There's nothing like snuggling up with my little boy to enjoy a few good books right before bedtime. I usually let my him pick out which books he'd like to read, and then we cuddle up on the couch and wind down the night with a few good stories. Our latest treasured read right before bed is The Bedtime Book by Mary Engelbreit.

From beloved New York Times bestselling illustrator Mary Engelbreit comes The Bedtime Book, a collection of bedtime poems, snuggly stories, and precious prayers that will help little ones drift off to sleep.

Mary Engelbreit grew up studying the illustrations in the vintage storybooks of her mother’s own childhood, and she developed a unique style that harkens back to those simpler times. Mary’s distinctive images have made her a celebrity to millions, who eagerly snap up gift items, calendars, books, fabrics, and more. Mary’s dearest wish has always been to illustrate for children. Her New York Times bestselling The Night Before Christmas is already part of the holiday tradition for families across the country.

The Bedtime Book comes complete with timeless illustrations and a collection of stories and poems, perfectly themed for when it's time to wind down and say goodnight. It's set up like a picture book with a hard cover and colorful, glossy pages throughout. There are about twelve different poems and short stories to read. Some are a few pages long, while others are only a paragraph in length. There's even a few prayers included. I love that each one is perfectly themed with bedtime in mind. Plus, they all rhyme, which is nice for my son, since he's been joining in as I read to him. The rhyming words actually help with this and allow him to anticipate what word comes next. There were also some stories and poems that are quite familiar like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and The Man in the Moon, so we were able to read these aloud together.

Mama comes to tuck you in,
Pulls the covers to your chin,
Squeezes fingers, squeezes toes
Lays a kiss upon your nose...

I do have to say that I was initially a little worried when I saw that one of the stories had to do with monsters under the bed. Although, I'm not completely against this, since we do enjoy films like Monster's Inc., it is a theme that I don't tend to favor. To my surprise, Mary offers a positive take on this particular story. The monsters are actually afraid of the dark, themselves, so they climb into bed with the little raccoon to cuddle with him. The raccoon is the one who teaches them to be brave and then they all say a prayer together before they drift off to sleep. I thought this was a cute twist on the typical "monsters under the bed" story.

Ever since reading A Night of Great Joy, I have been such a fan of Mary Engelbreit's work. She is truly an amazing illustrator. If you haven't already taken a look at her collection of picture books, I definitely recommend you do so, because they're wonderful and a sight to see! The Bedtime Book is no exception with whimsical drawings of little animals as they're being tucked in, or seeking new and different ways to drift off to dreamland.

If you have little ones who are a fan of picture books or nursery rhyme collections, then The Bedtime Book is definitely one to consider. It almost has a Mother Goose feel to it, which I particularly enjoy, since it definitely helps contribute to phonological awareness and early reading.