Fun Day Sunday: Spread the Love Book Review of Bedtime for Frances by Trudy Brasure, February 23, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #520)

As part of the SpReAd the Love (STL) campaign in the Richard Armitage Fandom in 2014, LogoforSpeadTheLove_transparent2014Dec2713GisbornesBoy_200x101sidebarfans will propagate acts of kindness to each other and to others.

And in honor of what would have been children’s book author Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel’s 110th birthday on March 2nd, 2014, Jazzbaby of the Funky Blue Dandelion blog has challenged fans to select a favorite children’s book to review and then donate that book to a child or to our local library as part of STL.  I hope to do a review soon.  But in the meantime, please enjoy my guest poster’s review of:

Bedtime for Frances
, A Children’s Book Review for STL by Trudy BrasureBedtimeforFrances-bookcoverFeb2114forTrudysReview34516_w185

Is there anything that can beat the warm, fuzzy feelings evoked by fond childhood memories? Not for me. I grew up in a big family, where I felt I had a secure part in the loving flow of activity and there was a general order to our days, weekends, seasons, and holidays.

With a house full of children, there was a definite routine for bedtime! After spending all day working her mysterious magic in the kitchen and in the laundry room, mom sat down to read a story or two to the under 10 set before bedtime.

I remember crowding around to get a good view of the pictures while listening to the comforting cadence of mom’s voice. She did a good job of emphasizing anything with exclamation points and getting us involved in the story. That is until she began to nod off… Well, it wasn’t every night, but there were many times we had to prod mom to continue when the voice began to trail away and she mumbled a few catatonic words unrelated to the story at hand.

It’s a wonder she didn’t do this every night, for now I can readily imagine how exhausting her days really were, although she seemed to love her role.

Horrible children that we were, we often found mom’s sleepy state to be hilarious fun. Sometimes we gently opened her eyelids to ‘find’ her and wake her up, or we treated mom like a ventriloquist puppet and moved her lips as we supplied childish lines for her to enunciate that were uproariously funny to us.

She took it all in stride. Mom was great.

The books we read weren’t quite as important as that close, comfy feeling that I recall in snuggling up to mom and assorted brothers in their pajamas on that well-worn sofa with lumpy sections.


We loved the Frances series of picture books by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Garth Williams. Our favorite was Bedtime for Frances.  I’ll be donating a copy of this classic book to the nearest public school, where my six year-old daughter attends and where I volunteer in the library.

Frances is a precocious badger who is sent to bed on time, but finds a litany of excuses to get out of bed and go to her parents for one more important reason. Eventually understood threat of corporeal punishment keeps her settled in her bed despite one last ’emergency’ and she falls fast asleep.

One line from the book became a family refrain anytime a word or noise triggered its BedtimeforFrances1-story-imageFeb2114Trudyrhyming start. “Wack, smack, made Frances think of a spanking,” is instantly recognizable to each of my many siblings although we’re spread throughout the continent and are in varying stages of our lives.

But that’s what a good book will do, isn’t it? It reaches across everything that would seem to separate us and reveals how much we are all really the same.

Thanks for Trudy’s lovely trip down memory lane about reading and snuggling with her Mom and siblings while enjoying this and other books. Cheers!   Grati ;->

P.S. Here is Trudy’s blurb about herself:

Reader, thinker, and dreamer, Trudy Brasure is a full-time mom and a weekend musician who discovered a new hobby in writing fiction when she fell in love with Richard’s portrayal of John Thornton in 2009. Now a confirmed fan of Gaskell as well as an ardent admirer of Armitage, she is happy to combine both loves in her current writing pursuits. A reluctant resident of the climate-calm California, she unwisely(?) longs to return to New England where she spent her twenty-something years.


P.S.  My guest poster is being a bit modest in her bio. So I hope that she doesn’t mind me sharing what I had drafted about her.  Trudy Brasure (aka Trudys Tattle on Wattpad) is a popular romance author in the genre of fan fiction–wherein, the author takes an existing North&South_BBC2004-period-drama_Feb2214ranetstory and characters and develops new avenues for them to explore.  I am a big fan of Trudy’s stories, having enjoyed reading her two fan fictions of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South tale about the industrial revolution in England–with a romance of two very different individuals at the heart of them.  The popular 2004 BBC period Drama titled North & South starred British actor Richard Armitage in the role of the successful mill owner John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret Hale.

Trudy’s  North & South based fan fic stories are titled:  A Heart for Milton, and In A-Heart-for-Milton-by-TrudyBrasure-bkcover_Feb2214AmazonConsequence.  Trudy’s beautiful storytelling not only gives us an opportunity to enjoy John and Margaret in new or enhanced situations, but her lush descriptions of character feelings and artifacts of the mid 19th century period totally engage the reader. Trudy’s writing is exquisite!  As an avid reader of Trudy’s works–I have lost count how many times I have read A Heart for Milton–I feel that I am immersed in the stories and their timeless tales of In-Consequence-by-TrudyBrasure_bkcover_Feb2214-Amazonlove and finding common ground.

For more about Trudy Brasure, and to read these tales yourself, please visit Trudy’s Wattpad writer’s site. Her stories are also available for purchase on Amazon Kindle and I also have them in my Kindle for PC–reading them there or on Wattpad as the mood strikes me.

P.S. What is your favorite children’s book?  I still need ideas for a book to review for me to do and then donate the book for STL.

P.S. And remember this fellow, Richard Armitage, who likes to tell stories?  Yes, he is all of our inspiration.  Image courtesy of RANet:


About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
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23 Responses to Fun Day Sunday: Spread the Love Book Review of Bedtime for Frances by Trudy Brasure, February 23, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #520)

  1. Servetus says:

    OMG, Trudy, I love that you picked this book. We had this one and Bread and Jam for Frances and we loved them both to death. (I am a lot like Frances.) Thanks for the wonderful memories! and thanks to Grati for hosting.


  2. Feb. 23 & Mar. 3,2014–Thanks for liking this post!

    Servetus, Jazzbaby1, and Snickers’ Mom, and Fanny/iz4blue


  3. jazzbaby1 says:

    Thanks so much, Trudy, for writing this post (I remember Frances, too!) and Grati for hosting! You two rock!


  4. Kitty says:

    Stuff like this is what makes me sit back in awe of all you wonderful, intelligent, well-read ladies. Yes, “Bedtime For Frances” falls in the catagory of “well-read” when you’ve never experienced Frances. Do you realize what a gem you have, what a treasure to be able to say that you had books readily available in your home when you were growing up and that your loving mother read to you? WoW! just WoW! This is no small thing! The books nor the loving mother. Believe me when I tell you how very fortunate you are to have been taught the love of the written word in your formative years. We had one book – the Holy Bible – in our home, but we weren’t encouraged to read even that one. I don’t mean for you to get your little fiddle out. I just want you to know that you word-smiths have a “pearl of great price” and I thank you for sharing.


    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Kitty!
      You have brought home with sharing your memories why public libraries and schools are so important–to bring books and reading to kids and adults who might not have any other way to experience them.

      This SpReAd the Love challenge of reviewing a children’s book and then donating it to a local library or directly to a child–speaks to that need of giving children access to books. Books help children experience worlds and ideas that they might never have been exposed to. And for those experiences in books, books are doorways to opportunity and to the future.

      I know, dear friend, that you are a caring and loving mom to your two lovely daughters and you are a caring and loving Mawmie to your two precious granddaughters. If I recall correctly, both of your daughters are educators–one as a teacher and one as a librarian. My guess is that you instilled in them a love of books and stories that nurtured them growing up–and that is a very great gift, indeed.

      Love & Hugs! Grati ;->


    • Servetus says:

      We had the Bible, too, for what it’s worth :)

      But I think Grati’s right. Things change because we try to change them, to improve them; we create new worlds, and in time we are gone and the world has changed. I hope, anyway.


    • trudystattle says:

      Thanks for the reminder to appreciate my upbringing. I don’t think I’ve ever taken my family for granted. It was a special gift to grow up in such a family. But, growing up, I thought everyone read and owned or borrowed books – at least every middle to upper class family. I can understand why the govt and educators universally encourage reading to small children. Reading is empowering. Can’t imagine a house without books in it.


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  6. Feb. 24, 2014–Folks, You’re not in the twilight zone with the change in Post # from 521 to 520. I realized belatedly that when I switched the order of the two posts, I had forgotten to renumber the post title. I have rectified that–but the URL for it remains unchanged.


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  9. Love these posts and I’m finally attempting to catch up. What a relief there was at least one other mother out there that struggled with falling asleep during story time. I can’t blame motherhood because I already struggled with it while bedtime reading before I became a mother. Hence my utmost respect for audiobook narration. Since I’ve attempted to regulate my breathing with some improvement.


    • Hi Fanny,
      Yes, indeed! RA as storyteller hath charms to soothe the “savage/unruly” child–and RA makes the rest of us go weak at the knees. Ha!
      Thanks for visiting and commenting! Cheers! Grati ;->


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