Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Bedtime for Frances

posted by Nell Minow
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Diversity Issues:None
DVD Release Date:March 31, 2009
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Profanity: None
Nudity/Sex: None
Alcohol/Drugs: None
Violence/Scariness: None
Diversity Issues: None
DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009

The wonderful Scholastic series has a very special new release, Bedtime for Frances, with three animated stories about the beloved little badger. Author Russell Hoban’s Frances stories are filled with gentle humor and perceptive insights about the way children see the world. The title story has Frances feeling a bit anxious and fearful as it gets closer to bedtime and trying to delay with requests for more hugs and kisses and then asking questions about some of the things that scare her. The DVD comes with a custom-made hard-bound book featuring that story, Bedtime for Frances, which received the “Notable Children’s Book” award from The American Library Association when it originally debuted in 1960.


Children love to identify with the curious and imaginative little badger and to see her adventures with her little sister, Gloria, her mom and dad, and her best friend Albert. With Hoban’s story and animation from the Jim Henson company, this is a top-notch addition to my very favorite DVD series for kids. (NOTE to parents: There is a reference to spanking in the story but no one gets spanked.)

  • Wendy

    I love the Frances books and my daughter is just getting old enough to enjoy them too–especially Bedtime for Frances. I wonder if you have an opinion on what having the DVD for a book does to the reading experience of the kids. Do they enjoy the book more or less or just differently than if they don’t have something like a DVD? (And you might have covered this elsewhere.)

  • Nell Minow

    What a great comment, Wendy! Many thanks. One reason I so love the Scholastic series is that they don’t try to cinema-tize the stories. The emphasis is still on the words and the pictures. The DVDs just bring them alive very gently, as though they are being read aloud. I am especially pleased that this edition includes a copy of the book so that the child can follow along.
    Even though I am the Movie Mom, I always acknowledge that books are more important than movies and that one of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child is a love for reading and writing. Parents should read to children every day; we read aloud to ours until they were in high school. But what matters most in encouraging kids to read is less whether the child has the DVD or the book than whether the child sees the parents reading and enjoying what they read. Once in a while, it’s a good thing to say, “I’m enjoying my book too much to play right now, but when I finish, I’ll tell you about it.”

  • Bobbi

    A GREAT reference for books that lend themselves for reading aloud is Jim Trelease’s book “The Read-Aloud Handbook the 2006-2007 edition. The first part of the book discusses the importance of reading aloud, reading aloud at home and school, TV, movies etc. The second part of the book is a WONDERFUL glossary of great books for reading aloud and organized into sections for picture books for infants, toddlers, preschool…all the way for books for kids in middle school. It’s an inspiring book and a fun read. I have handed out more than 100 of them over the last 20 years. When the children are older I then give your “Movie Mom’s guide to Family Movies” book to their parents. What a powerful combination.
    I’m so to have become more computer savvy and found your site. I LOVE IT.

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks so much, Bobbi, and welcome! I love the Read-Aloud Handbook. We read aloud to our kids until they were in high school and the books we shared are still a treasured family connection.

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