Author: Susan Marie Swanson

3-Year-Olds Concept

This book combines a routine that your child can relate to with an adventure to the moon and back! The sun is setting, and as night falls you’ll enter this home and join a child who is getting ready for bed. Beautifully detailed illustrations, drawn mostly in black and white, have just a touch of color that illuminates objects in and outside of the house. There are so many things to see in each of the illustrations and many opportunities to engage your child in conversation. This book will surely become a favorite new part of your child’s bedtime routine!

Before, During and After Reading

Letter Knowledge

Have an uppercase and lower case paper letter H for your child to hold. Look at the front cover and the first page in the book. Have your child find the uppercase and lowercase Letter H in the text.

Phonological Awareness

Bring his attention to pictures that begin with the /h/ sound on the front cover and on the first page. Touch a picture that begins with the /h/ sound and encourage him to say the word with you. You might say:

Here is a /h/ /h/ house, can you say it with me, /h/ /h/ house. Let’s see if we find more pictures that start with the /h/ /h/ sound. Look what is this? Yes, it’s a /h/ /h/ hand, say it with me /h/ /h/ hand. Look, here is a /h/ /h/ head with /h/ /h/ hair on it!    

Oral Language

Engage your child in conversation by asking a variety of questions.

  • Use the text to ask open-ended questions that will allow him to express his thoughts and feelings.
  • Use the illustrations to compare situations in the book that relate to his life experiences.
  • Leave off the last word in the text and touch the picture to help him complete the sentence.
  • After reading, ask questions to help him recall the beginning, middle and end of the story.  

Oral Language

Turn back to the page with the words …all about the starry dark. Touch the drawings that represent the stars and ask what he thinks they are. Remind him of a song he knows about stars and sing it together.

You might say:

Look at these, what do you think they are? This is how the illustrator drew the stars. We know a song about stars, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. We can sing it together!

Sing the song softly and slowly to set the mood.

Ask him if he liked the book and to tell you about his favorite part. Talk about his bedtime routine and how it may be similar or different to the routine of the child in the book.  

Beginning Writing

Gather black, dark blue or dark purple drawing paper and some chalk. Encourage your child to draw a nighttime picture. Ask him questions as he draws, and if he begins to tell a story about his drawing, offer to write the words he is saying. Let him watch as you demonstrate the conventions of print, writing left to right, using uppercase letters and punctuation marks. Read his words back to him or let him read to you. Hang the picture in a place for others to see, and encourage him to tell the story of his picture to anyone interested.

This book has several illustrations of a key. Bring those illustrations to your child’s attention and extend the experience by engaging him in the activity Match the Keys

Explore more recommended children’s books and at-home reading activities for three-year-olds, or take the Reading BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener. The screener can help you determine if your child is on the path to reading readiness, and provides a free plan for moving forward.