When the World Is Ready for Bed

When the World Is Ready for Bed

5.0 2
by Gillian Shields

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When the world / Is ready for bed / The sky grows dark / The sun glows red.

Told with a gently rhyming text, this lovely story of the world falling asleep is just right for bedtime with the little ones.


When the world / Is ready for bed / The sky grows dark / The sun glows red.

Told with a gently rhyming text, this lovely story of the world falling asleep is just right for bedtime with the little ones.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For three bunnies and their parents, nightfall brings a comforting set of domestic rituals: family dinner, common room cleanup (“Now clear the room/ And tidy up;/ There's a toy,/ And here's a cup”), sharing of the day's news and, finally, snuggling into bed. It's a story that's been told countless times, but the quiet grace of this unabashedly old-fashioned book makes it easy to justify finding just a little more room on the shelf. Shields's (Puppy Love: The Story of Esme and Sam) rhymes are a model of economy (“Today has nearly/ Slipped away;/ Tomorrow brings/ Another day”), but as every parent knows, tender sentiments don't have to be grandiose to be effective. Currey's (A Babysitter for Billy Bear) watercolors, all double-page spreads, are an intriguing combination of Beatrix Potteresque delicacy and expansive scale—the images feel big and small at the same time, assuring diminutive readers that home is not only a refuge from the world, but also a world that's all their own. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
In story and illustration, this tale is reminiscent of the Beatrix Potter style. The story of three bunnies getting ready for bed, with the help of their mom and dad, incorporates rhyme and repetition to make this a favorite of young readers. First they say goodnight to the sun as it dips into the west and the flowers and wildlife begin to close their eyes for the night. Then they join their family at the dinner table to enjoy the food that Mother Rabbit as prepared. A large part of getting ready for bed means putting away the things that you have used during the day and then spending time with Dad Rabbit, remembering the good things that have happened in this day. Simple nightly routines like brushing your teeth, finding your favorite blanket, dressing in your jammies, and reading your favorite book with Mom, will be familiar to young readers. Finally, after hugs, prayers, kisses, and wishes made on a star, it is time for bed to rest for the new day. The beautiful watercolor drawings add to the richness of the text. This is a skillfully written and beautifully illustrated bedtime book to which young readers will readily respond. The reviewer looks forward to sharing this with great-nephews as they all curl up in bed for story time. Reviewer: Joyce Rice
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—This calming tale follows three brown bunnies as their day draws to a close. They have dinner, tidy up, tell dad about the fun they've had, brush their teeth, and listen to one last story. After kisses, hugs, and prayers, they curl up under a fluffy quilt and slip off to sleep. "Always lovely,/Always new,/Tomorrow's waiting/Just for you." The gentle singsong text makes for excellent bedtime reading, and the homey watercolors are equally pleasant. The bunnies wear distinctive outfits and have a variety of expressions. The final spread shows the sun rising over the yellow-green meadow that surrounds their little cottage. Children will easily relate to the story, especially the scene in which one bunny in a suds-filled tub is having its ears washed. A good addition to the genre.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
Kirkus Reviews
The sky is growing dark, and it's time for the flowers, the birds and every bunny to start thinking about bed. Shields's sweet, melodious rhyme and Currey's warm, lively watercolors trace the evening of a very appealing rabbit family after the sun goes down. From eating dinner, cleaning up with Mom and reminiscing about the day with Dad to tooth brushing, getting into bed, listening to stories, saying prayers and looking out at the stars, these bunnies have a very busy night. At last, satisfied, tucked in and sleepy, the bunnies quietly drift off, since after all, there's a lot to anticipate: "Always lovely, / Always new, / Tomorrow's waiting / Just for you." These bunnies owe a lot to Beatrix Potter; like hers, they sport clothing and human mannerisms, but in anatomy and posture they're very much animals. Children will be glad to snuggle up and be softly lulled to sleep by this soothing selection as they are simultaneously reminded of the necessity and comfort of a bedtime routine. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

Bloomsbury UK
Publication date:
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Gillian Shields is the author of Bloomsbury's Mermaid SOS series, in addition to other books for young children. She lives in Burwash Common, England.

Anna Currey's warm, classic watercolor style has brought to life many enchanting picture books. In her spare time she loves gardening and traveling. Anna was born in Norfolk, grew up in Ireland, and now lives near Bath, England, with her husband, two daughters, a dog and a variety of goldfish.

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When the World Is Ready for Bed 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautiful book, beautifully written and illustrated. An earlier reviewer outlined the story so there is no need to go over it again. I just wanted to add that no child will every wanted to have this story read to them just once. Nor will you want to read it just once to them. Simple but sublime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just love this book and buy it for anyone who's having a baby. It is sweet, calming and delightful. The illustrations are charming.