Copyright © 2015 by Hey Sup Bye Publishing
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Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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Click the link above to instantly download a free eBook! “It’s Okay to Be Different” is a beautifully illustrated story about accepting and celebrating others for their differences. It’s a great way to teach children to appreciate and accept others for who they are. Enjoy!
Bitsy Bunny was a special stuffed animal. First, she had been owned by Megan, the oldest girl in the Robinson family. Then, after Megan had decided she was too old to sleep with stuffed animals any longer, she’d passed Bitsy off to her middle sister Elise. Bitsy had belonged to Elise until Elise, too, decided she was past the age of taking stuffed animals to bed. Then Elise gave Bitsy to Jenna, the youngest sister in the family.
For many years, Bitsy had been lovingly cuddled at night by one or another of the Robinson girls. But recently, something sad had started to happen.
Now that Jenna was twelve, she felt she didn’t need to sleep with Bitsy at night anymore. But she didn’t have anyone to pass her down to, either, so she just left Bitsy propped in the corner where her bed met the wall.
For a while, Bitsy sat there, missing the cuddling, but glad that—at the very least—she still had a spot on Jenna’s bed. After a while, though, Bitsy found herself slipping down, down, down between the bed and the wall. Because Jenna didn’t cuddle with Bitsy anymore, she didn’t miss her.
No one, it seemed, missed Bitsy or cared that she was lying face-down in the dust under Jenna’s bed. As she lay there, Bitsy tried not to cry—but once in a while, a lone tear would trickle out of her eye and run down her fuzzy, well-worn face. She thought about the days gone by, remembering when she had been Megan’s special bedtime friend, then Elise’s, and finally Jenna’s.
She remembered listening to each girl’s whispered secrets, comforting them when they were sick, and being squeezed tightly when they were very happy. She remembered sharing their bedtime stories and their midnight snacks. Elise had even used Bitsy to prop up her arm after she’d sprained her wrist playing volleyball, and Bitsy had been happy to help.
Bitsy missed being a special friend to the Anderson girls. How she longed to be a friend like that again! But she figured she would never have the chance. Bitsy knew that Jenna was the youngest kid in the family. There was no one else to be passed down to. There was no hope for Bitsy. She wondered if she would lie face-down in the dust under Jenna’s bed for years.
But then one day, everything changed. Jenna was babysitting her little cousin Charlotte, and Charlotte decided she wanted to play hide-and-seek. When it was Charlotte’s turn to hide, she hid under Jenna’s bed—and found Bitsy!
She scooped up the bunny and gave her a hug. “You poor thing,” Charlotte whispered. “You’re so dusty and lonely down here!”
As soon as Jenna found Charlotte, Charlotte crawled out from under the bed and asked her big cousin about Bitsy Bunny.
“Poor Bitsy,” said Jenna, dusting the stuffed animal off. “My sisters and I grew up with her. We took her to sleep every night.” Then she handed Bitsy back to Charlotte. “Would you like to take her home with you? She looks like she could use a friend.”
“Yes!” exclaimed Charlotte, hugging Bitsy tightly.
Bitsy’s little cloth heart swelled with happiness. She couldn’t wait to go home with Charlotte—and get snuggled to sleep once again!
Dylan didn’t like bedtime. It always came too soon, when there was still so much that he wanted to do. As soon as his parents told him it was time to go upstairs and get ready for bed, Dylan would moan and groan. Bedtime was no fun!
He took as long as he possibly could putting on his pajamas and brushing his teeth. And after Dad had finished reading Dylan his nightly bedtime story, Dylan would beg him to read another book, and then another.
Even when Dad said no and left the room, Dylan would keep making up excuses to get out of bed. First, he would say that he needed a glass of water. Next, he would say that he needed to use the bathroom.
Finally, Dylan’s parents told him, “Dylan, this has got to stop! When we tell you to go to bed, you need to stay in bed. Otherwise, you won’t be well-rested and ready for school in the morning.”
“But bedtime is no fun,” Dylan complained.
Dad arched his eyebrows. “If bedtime were fun, would you want to go to bed?” he asked.
“Of course,” replied Dylan. “I like things that are fun.”
Mom looked at Dad. “In that case,” she said, “I think we’re going to have to show Dylan that bedtime is a lot more fun than he thinks!”
Her words caught Dylan’s attention, and he couldn’t help but be just a little curious when bedtime came around the following night.
“You get washed up,” Mom said to Dylan, “and Dad and I will wait for you in your bedroom.”
Dylan had the feeling that his parents were about to show him something special, so tonight he brushed his teeth and put on his pajamas as quickly as he could. Then he hurried out of the bathroom and down the hall to his own room.
When he got to the doorway, he gasped. By making a sail out of a blanket, Mom and Dad had managed to make Dylan’s bed look just like a sailboat! They had also placed some of Dylan’s toy boats and his stuffed fish and sea animals in different places on the floor. Because Dylan’s carpeting was blue, they looked like they were floating in the water!
“My bed looks like a boat!” Dylan exclaimed excitedly.
“That’s right,” said Mom. “And as soon as you fall asleep, your bed-boat will set sail for Dreamland. There, you can have all kinds of wonderful adventures in your sleep, until it’s time to hop back aboard and sail home for school in the morning.”
Dylan grinned. All of a sudden, bedtime seemed like lots of fun! He liked the idea of falling asleep as he sailed off to Dreamland. He pushed back the covers and got into bed.
Dad read him a bedtime story as usual, but this time, Dylan didn’t make any excuses to stay up afterward. He was too excited to set sail! Closing his eyes and clutching the covers around him, Dylan began to drift off to Dreamland. He could almost hear the gentles waves lapping against the side of his bed-boat.
“Dreamland, here I come!” thought Dylan.
The next time you’re not so happy about going to bed, why not imagine that your own bed is a boat, just like Dylan’s? Then close your eyes, think about all your favorite things, and drift off to Dreamland—where anything can happen!
“I must be the only sheep in Sleep City who can’t jump over a fence,” sighed Cottonball.
“Don’t give up, Cottonball,” Mama Sheep consoled her. “You’re still a little sheep, and that fence is rather high. It just takes some getting-used-to.”
But Mama’s words didn’t make Cottonball feel any better. All of her brothers and sisters could jump over the fence. But every time Cottonball tried, she ended up catching her legs in the fence. Then she would trip, fall, and land splat on her face in the mud!
Cottonball knew as well as all the other sheep that fence-jumping was not just a sport in Sleep City; it was a very important job.
You see, Sleep City is located smack in the middle of Awakeville and Dreamland. When you first start drifting off to sleep, your thoughts take you to Sleep City. That’s the place where you count sheep jumping over a fence until you get very, very drowsy. Once you’re drowsy enough, you are able to travel all the way to Dreamland for the rest of the night.
Without the sheep in Sleep City doing their very important job of lining up and jumping over that fence, one after another, some of us might never get to sleep!
Cottonball stood back and watched her brothers and sisters as they practiced jumping the fence. Just like always, they leaped high and graceful, arching their legs as they passed over the fence, then landing perfectly on the other side.
“Good job!” Mama Sheep told them. “I’d say you’re in good shape for tonight’s fence-jumping.”
Cottonball swallowed a lump in her throat. Tonight would be the first night that her brothers and sisters were part of the line-up of sheep that were counted by people who wanted to fall asleep. How Cottonball wished she were ready to join them! But she knew that was not a good idea. If she couldn’t clear the fence, she would have the opposite effect on the sleepers—they would be startled by her falling and wake up!
With her head down, Cottonball followed her family down the hill toward their home. Her brothers and sisters chattered excitedly about that night’s fence-jumping. She wished she could share their excitement.
“Cheer up, Cottonball,” Mama Sheep said. “You’ll be able to jump that fence one of these days.”
“But I want to do it tonight!” Cottonball protested. “I don’t want to be the only sheep in my family who doesn’t jump the fence! If only there were a way.” And that was when Cottonball got her brilliant idea!
“I’m going to jump the fence tonight, after all!” she announced a while later.
“You can’t do that!” said one of her brothers. “You’ll mess up and send all the people to Awakeville instead of Dreamland!”
“Don’t worry,” smiled Cottonball. “I have a plan.”
That night, Cottonball waited her turn in the long line of sheep that were taking turns jumping over the fence.
When it was Cottonball’s turn at last, she dragged her favorite mini trampoline up to the fence. She bounced a couple of times, and then jumped, taking a flying leap over the fence. With the help of the trampoline, Cottonball was able to soar higher and more gracefully than any of the other sheep!
“I did it!” she cried, landing neatly on the other side.
“You were wonderful!” praised Mama Sheep.
“I guess there are all kinds of different ways of doing things,” admitted Cottonball’s brother. “Way to go, Cottonball.”
And Cottonball just smiled.
“What’s so great about sleep?” grumbled Michelle as Nana tucked her into bed one night.
Nana chuckled. “Why, Michelle, sleep is a wonderful thing! Without it, we’d never have any energy for the things we need to do during the day.”
“I know that,” sighed Michelle. “But I wish there was another way to get energy. Why can’t we plug ourselves into the wall and charge ourselves up, like my mom and dad charge their cell phones?”
“If you were plugged in, you wouldn’t be able to move around much,” Nana pointed out.
Michelle thought for a moment. “Well, what about getting energy from the sun?” she asked. “I have a calculator that’s powered by the sun.”
“There’s no sun at nighttime,” Nana answered. “How would we operate when we ran out of sunlight?”
“We could store it up in our bodies!” Michelle suggested.
Nana laughed. “My, you’re full of ideas tonight,” she said. “But the truth is, Michelle, I think you’d miss sleeping, even if there was another way to get your energy!”
Michelle turned onto her side. “I don’t think so.”
“Are you sure?” asked Nana. “You wouldn’t miss snuggling with your blankie? You wouldn’t miss cuddling your stuffed animals? And what about the pink-and-blue pony bedspread you picked out? If you didn’t have to sleep, you wouldn’t need those things.”
“Well…” Michelle trailed off.
But Nana wasn’t finished. “What about waking up in the morning to the smell of sticky buns in the oven? Or pancakes on the griddle? Or what about getting up in the morning, only to discover that it snowed all through the night, and now you have the whole day off from school to play outside in it? Those kinds of surprises wouldn’t be nearly as special if you didn’t have to sleep first.”
Michelle had to admit that Nana had a point. “But…” she started.
But Nana still had more to say. “And you’re forgetting the holidays!” Nana continued. “Have Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny ever come while you were awake? And what about the Tooth Fairy? If kids never slept, she’d never have a chance to bring them money in exchange for their missing teeth!”
Michelle’s mouth dropped open. She hadn’t thought about those things.
“But,” Nana said then, “if you’re so sure that you wouldn’t miss sleeping, then maybe I can talk to this scientist friend of mine and see if she can figure out a way to make it so we don’t have to sleep at night.”
Michelle sat up straight in her bed. “No!” she exclaimed.
Nana looked at her in surprise. “I thought you’d be happy about that idea, Michelle.”
Michelle blushed. “Um, no, Nana, that’s really all right,” she replied. “I don’t think you should talk to your friend about that. I think I might miss sleeping—just a little bit.”
Nana smiled. “Is that so?”
Michelle lay back down, pulling the covers up to her chin and yawning. Her bed had never felt so comfortable before. “Yes, Nana,” she whispered.
Nana bent down and kissed her on the cheek. “Goodnight, Michelle.”
Imagine yourself in a world with no sleep. What else would you miss, besides the things that Nana and Michelle listed?
Juan missed his grandma very, very much. Although they talked on the phone once a week and sent letters and packages back and forth, he couldn’t help wishing that she lived closer to him. But Abuelita, as Juan called his grandma, didn’t even live in the same country as he did! She lived all the way down in Chile, thousands of miles from Juan’s home in New York.
The last time Juan had seen Abuelita was during a visit to Chile when he was four years old. Now that Juan was nearly seven, it seemed like a long-ago memory. He longed to climb up onto Abuelita’s lap and listen to her stories about when she was a little girl, growing up on a farm in southern Chile. Her family had owned a horse named Panchito. Juan was always fascinated by Abuelita’s stories.
“I wish Abuelita could come to New York and visit us,” Juan told his parents nearly every day.
“She’ll come,” Mami would reply.
“Someday,” Papi always added.
So Juan waited and waited, but Abuelita never came.
He supposed he had to settle for dreaming about his grandmother. That had been Abuelita’s idea. Once, when they had talked on the phone, she had told Juan, “Dream of me tonight, mi amorcito, and I will dream of you. That way, we can see each other in our dreams.”
Ever since that conversation, Juan tried extra hard to think about Abuelita just before he fell asleep. He thought about her voice and her laugh and her stories. He cuddled with the colorful stuffed armadillo that Abuelita had bought for him at a marketplace in Chile. He concentrated very hard, and, with all these thoughts of Abuelita on his mind and in his heart, Juan was able to dream of her very often.
In his dreams, he and Abuelita walked and talked. Sometimes they were in Chile, on the farm or in the bustling city marketplaces. Other times, they were in New York City, where Juan lived. In those dreams, he proudly showed Abuelita landmarks like the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.
In some dreams, Juan and Abuelita even rode Panchito, the horse that Abuelita’s family had owned when she was just a little girl! No matter what they did, they always had lots of fun, and Juan was sorry to wake up and find that it had all been just a dream, and that he was still thousands of miles away from the grandmother he loved.
One morning, Juan woke up after a dream about Abuelita that seemed particularly real. Waking up was especially sad this time because Juan had almost been able to imagine that he really was with his beloved Abuelita.
With a sigh, Juan got out of bed and began to dress—when, all of a sudden, he heard familiar laughter in the living room! Heart pounding, Juan flung open the door and ran through the apartment.
There, seated on the living-room couch between Mami and Papi, sat Abuelita herself. She was real, not a dream!
“Surprise!” Juan’s family cried.
Juan had never been so happy in his life. He flew straight into Abuelita’s waiting arms. “Abuelita,” he cried, “I missed you so much!”
“Mi amorcito,” replied Abuelita, “I missed you, too!”
“I can’t believe you’re really, really here!” Juan exclaimed. “After all these nights of dreaming about seeing you, my dream has finally come true! We’re going to have the very best time together, Abuelita!”
And so they did.
Arnie Lightning is a dreamer. He believes that everyone should dream big and not be afraid to take chances to make their dreams come true. Arnie enjoys writing, reading, doodling, and traveling. In his free time, he likes to play video games and run. Arnie lives in Mississippi where he graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS.
Cute Bedtime Stories for Kids You can make bedtime a fun tradition for your child with these cute bedtime stories. Your child will look forward to going to bed with these entertaining stories. Each story is about includes a moral lesson and includes cute and colorful illustrations for early and beginning readers. These stories are great for early & beginning readers, reading aloud at home, and bedtime stories. -2,500+ words -Cute bedtime stories for kids -Perfect for early and beginner readers -Includes 'just for fun' activities for your child to do -Bright and colorful images for early and younger readers These stories are great for quick bedtime stories and cute tales to be read aloud with friends and family! Fun for the entire family! Kids and children can practice their reading skills or have a parent read the stories aloud to them. These special bedtime stories are great for sleepy-heads that can't fall asleep! Story & Activity List: -Bitsy Bunny -Dylan’s Bed-Boat -Just for Fun Activity -Cottonball Jumps the Fence -Goodnight, Michelle -Just for Fun Activity -Juan’s Dream Come True Best-Selling Children's Book Author, Arnie Lightning Arnie Lightning is a best-selling children's book author with a straightforward goal. He wants his work to create a positive impact in the lives of others through children's books. Learning morals, lessons, and good character can start at a young age. Arnie's books reflect this. By providing a comfortable and entertaining environment, learning can be a fun activity! Scroll up and click 'buy' to spend some quality time with your child! SWEET DREAMS!