ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Before We Say "Goodnight"

How to Tell Bedtime Stories About Your Life and Family

Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 2010

In the last twelve years, Hank Frazee’s three children have enjoyed more than 7,000 bedtime stories. Each night he shared a small piece of their family history with them, building a bond not just between the four of them, but between the children and their extended family and friends as well. Over the years, Frazee developed a method for jogging his memory and relaying the tales in an interesting way. His book shares this method with readers so they, too, can easily share bedtime stories about their lives with their children.

In addition to passing on family history, bedtime stories are also a natural way to pass on the parent’s values. Frazee prefers to keep bedtime relaxed, avoiding lecturing or trying to instruct his kids with his stories. He has found that the moral of the story becomes naturally clear in the course of its telling, and kids figure it out on their own. In fact, kids often absorb the lessons better when they aren’t pointed out by adults. A relaxed approach helps parents wind down at the end of the day and enjoy quiet moments with their children.

Frazee knows that it can be hard to come up with a good story on the spot, so he developed a system of “Story Prompters” to jog his memory. People and animals are the stories’ characters, and can include family, role models, and people or animals in the community. Once the characters are established, creating a new story is simply a matter of setting characters in a place and time, and relaying an experience. Frazee provides over 100 prompts in nineteen different categories for places, experiences, and things. He also includes examples of his own stories at the end of each chapter.

This book is an excellent resource for parents, grandparents, babysitters, and anyone else who wishes to develop a deeper relationship with the children in their care. “A story is simply your description of an experience you’ve had,” Frazee reminds us. “Tell your stories. Your kids want to hear them.”

Christine Canfield