Daily Archives: March 22, 2013

(story)time: Chicken Bedtime is Really Early

Speaking of chickens, I thought I’d write a little bit about one of our favorite chicken books, Chicken Bedtime is Really Early by Erica S. Perl. 

We purchased this book at the garden many years ago, and since then we’ve bought copies for gifts for others.  It’s a really fun book to read, one of those rhyming stories that are so much fun to read out loud.  This is an important distinction; there are plenty of rhyming books out there that are not fun to read out loud – the syllables are off and the rhythm is just not right.  Not cool.  
As the hours in the book tick on throughout the evening, each barnyard animal tucks into bed. The illustrations are so sweet, and the girls love finding the subtle clocks on each page that mark the o’clocks of the written story.  The book is wide and the cover wrap is textured paper with a bright little chicken on the front.  The bunnies want extra stories, and the cows and sheep try to postpone the inevitable like other (human) children I know.  The hamsters keep ridiculous hours, while the frogs croak out lullabies and the fish get their rest before the school day ahead of them.

Tonight I think we’ll read this book, and name the chickens after our own chicken friends down the street.  There was some sadness this morning when our chicken chores were done.  The book might help us smile again.

Speaking of bedtime stories – another book that has a similar look and feel (and is also a house favorite) is The Bunnies Are Not in Their Beds by Marisabina Russo.  These bunnies don’t live in the barnyard, just a cute little cottage, but the parents eat carrot cake and drink warm tea while the three little bunnies put off sleeping in not-so-quiet ways.  Both girls have memorized this book, and have been able to “read” it aloud long before they could actually read.  The noise upstairs grows with each turning page, and the parents do their (unsuccessful) best to get those bunnies back into bed. 

“Good night, good night, sleep tight,” is uttered more than once, and with increasing volume and impatience.  We wouldn’t have any idea what that is like.


I highly recommend these books for any kid that likes picture books.  Chicken Bedtime is Really Early is great when starting to learn to tell time.  The clock styles change in each image, and the story ties into each of those time pieces.  The Bunnies Are Not in Their Beds is fun to read with the clicks and clacks and vrooms and booms as sound effects.  Both are great books to give as gifts.  They are beautiful and fun and everybody loves a good bedtime story.

I’d love to hear your own thoughts about these books, or other barnyard / bedtime favorites.


Find these titles at your favorite local independent bookstore. Happy reading!

meet buddy and boots

These are not our new chickens, just our new job this week.  Chicken sitting.  

Don’t say that three times fast.

Chicken sitting comes with several perks.  An excuse to call your snow boots your “chicken boots” now.  (F)  A reason to request an earlier alarm clock setting and to actually get out of bed when it goes off. (E)  But one downside is an increase in chicken related dreams and nightmares.  (K)  I kept dreaming that one or more of the chickens met some untimely demise on my watch.  This morning we walked over to our neighbors’ yard, and we saw Buddy and Boots… but no Rosie.  My heart sank.  And then I realized she was probably hanging out in the coop, laying some eggs.  Or hanging out in the coop trying to stay warm.  Turns out it was probably both.

And here’s the third (and best) perk.  Free eggs.

We promptly postponed the menu plans for tonight (broccoli casserole) and made a cinnamon french toast dish instead (from Smitten Kitchen).  This eggy change of plans was met with great delight, and great appetites.  The girls polished off a ridiculous amount. 

One more chicken morning, and then we’re done.  For now.  I have a feeling the girls have earned future chicken duties, and I also have a feeling they don’t mind that idea one little bit.