Since they share a room often Madeleine will listen to the books I read to Charlotte. And the other way around. Last night Madeleine read to us a very funny Edgar Allan Poe story she found called "Loss of Breath". I had no idea Poe wrote humorous stories and this one was pretty outrageous! (I don't think Charlotte got much out of it though.)
I'm quite partial to Joan Aiken and I thought this was a perfect bedtime book (it's even called Goodnight Stories). Starting while we were on vacation in Illinois, we read one every night. Madeleine listened for a few nights and thought that some were better stories than others. ("Oh, Can Ye Sew Cushions?" was in my opinion the very best one.) But each of them has that mixture of magic and feel of Dickens that is particular to Aiken (Leon Garfield and Roald Dahl as well).
pictures by Jan Pienkowski
The fantastic silhouettes of Jan Pienkowski are scattered throughout the book. Each story is based on a lullaby and includes some rhyming verses.
There was one thing about their house that they didn't know. Every year, on a special day in winter, when the sun shone upon one particular spot on the floor in one particular room- if somebody- just at that moment- happened to be singing a special note of a special song- then, something might happen.
More books by Joan Aiken:
Other books illustrated by Jan Pienkowski: