5 Minute Bedtime Stories for Children (1)

Retold by Beatrice Wood

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The author is not trying to reinvent the wheel, but to collate and abridge a nice assortment of stories from around the world in five to seven minute segments. Just the right size for a busy mom or dad for a bedtime story read. They are suitable for school age children ages six through twelve and are not meant for toddlers or preschoolers. While all of them have familiar themes to many cultures; ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes” will probably be recognized by all readers.

I think my favorite of these ten is the one titled, “The Story Without an End.” It tells the legend of a king who lived in a time before there were printed storybooks. This king had an insatiable appetite for stories. After a while, his subjects ran out of stories to tell. The king promised that whoever would tell a story that did not end could marry the princess. Unfortunately, if the story ended, that storyteller would be thrown in jail.

One day a poor farmer showed up with the promise of a story without end. But first the king had to promise to listen to the end. After receiving that promise from the king, the farmer began his tale, which was so cleverly crafted that it went on for months. When the king could take it no longer, he begged the farmer to stop telling his story. So the farmer married the princess and eventually ruled the kingdom.

Each story is accompanied by a black and white pencil drawing to complement the tale. This is a nice touch and provides encouragement of more discussion on the topic of each story. Creative and novel way for parent and child or teacher and child to share a short read aloud. Look forward to reading Book 2 in the collection.

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