Twas Just Before Bedtime by Jessie L. Best

As a Book Reviewer, I received a free ebook copy of ’Twas Just Before Bedtime by Jessie L. Best. I was not required to write a positive review nor any review. This is my honest review.

’Twas Just Before Bedtime is a collection of short stories and poems for children. There are fifteen stories and fourteen poems. Each poem tells a story and has a rhyme scheme. Every story and poem in this collection is short enough to be read to young children and to be read “just before bedtime”.

Every story includes some kind of magical happening or magical creature. There are a few witches, though not scary, and lots of fairies. The poems include characters that are animals. For parents who like reading fun, magical stories that are very rich in make believe, these stories are for you.

I found all of the poems well written and delightful and most of the stories are fun.

A few of the stories may be scary for younger or more sensitive children.

For my readers who prefer stories that include character building or biblical lessons, this is not the kind of book you’re looking for.

I give ’Twas Just Before Bedtime by Jessie L. Best 4 stars.

Tea and Poetry

For today’s Tea and Poetry post, I decided to combine three of the little tea facts from “365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know” because they go together:

There are four major tea types–black, oolong, green, and white.
Black tea undergoes the longest process of oxidation.
White tea undergoes the least amount of the oxidation process

To add just a couple more facts that relate (that we learned at the Charleston Tea Plantation): 1) All four types of tea come from the same bush (what makes them different, is the amount of time they undergo the oxidation process); 2) Green tea does not require any oxidation.

Now, for today’s poem, I have chosen a poem by Anne Bradstreet:


Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad, exposed to public view,
Made thee in rags, halting to th’ press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judge).
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call,
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could:
I washed thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot still made a flaw.
I stretched thy joints to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run’st more hobbling than is meet;
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save homespun cloth i’ th’ house I find.
In this array ‘mongst vulgars may’st thou roam.
In critic’s hands beware thou dost not come,
And take thy way where yet thou art not known;
If for thy father asked, say thou hadst none;
And for thy mother, she alas is poor,
Which caused her thus to send thee out of door.

Danger in the Patchwork Clearing (a narrative poem)

Danger in the Patchwork Clearing
by Kelly F. Barr

Bramble Fleetwood and Flip Gatherson did somersaults among the wildflowers in the Patchwork Clearing. Bramble’s lower jaw dropped and his eyes widened as a shadow passed over them. A chill ran down his spine as he recognized Crooked Claw Fellingward.

“Flip, run! Hawk!” Bramble scrambled back toward Oak Leaf Forest, and Flip struggled to keep up.
“Stay low and don’t stretch your body.” Bramble puffed out as he ran. How had they gotten so far from Oak Leaf Forest?
He could hear his father’s stern voice in his head, “Bramble, never wander into the Patchwork Clearing. It’s too dangerous.”

Crooked Claw screeched and Bramble looked over his shoulder. The hawk was inches above Flip, who desperately weaved and dragged his pudgy belly across the ground. Crooked Claw made a grab for Flip but missed as Flip rolled to the side.

Bramble tripped over something — rocks! He stopped, picked up a rock, and hurled it at Crooked Claw. He picked up another and another and threw them as hard and quickly as he could. One bounced off the hawk’s beak. Another rolled off his back.

Bramble couldn’t remain in this place much longer. The rocks managed to slow Crooked Claw down enough for Flip to gain a bit of a lead. Bramble started to run again. Almost there — if they could just get to the forest.

Bramble burst over the line, under cover of the Oak trees. He turned and screamed, “Nooo,” as Crooked Claw grasped Flip and lifted him off the ground. Bramble watched in horror, but Flip struggled in the hawk’s grip. Flip pounded his fists on the talons that held him, and suddenly Flip was falling. Crooked Claw descended right above him reaching for his falling prey.

Flip hit the ground and immediately made a break for the forest. Crooked Claw was bearing down on Flip. Would Flip make it in time?

Bramble heard a commotion in the trees directly above him. Father, and Flip’s father, and several other men from the squirrel colony were slinging acorns, from a large slingshot, at Crooked Claw. They slung six acorns at one time and hit Crooked Claw’s wing. The wing crumpled and the hawk made an emergency crash landing as Flip crossed under the Oak trees.

Bramble and Flip scooted farther under the Oaks. Their fathers stood before them. How had they come down the tree so quickly?

“Bramble, are you hurt?”
“No, Father.”
Flip’s father checked Flip over. The two dads looked at their sons. “Suppose you two have had a good fright and now know why you’re not to play in the Patchwork Clearing?”
Both boys nodded.
“Good. Now for the next two weeks, the two of you will be teaching your little brothers how to hide nuts and acorns.”
Again, Bramble and Flip nodded. Anything would be better than running for their lives.

Cookies (A Poem)

by Kelly F. Barr

Cookies are a favorite treat;
An easy take-along snack
That’s sweet and fun to eat;
Enjoyable by the handful, bagful, or stack.

Some like their cookies crisp and crunchy;
Some like their cookies soft to chew.
They satisfy a case of the munchies.
Most can’t resist eating “just a few”.

What kind of cookie do you like best–
Oatmeal raisin, molasses, or chocolate chip?
Finding the perfect cookie can be quite a quest;
But when you find it, you’ll want to flip.

The Coffee Shop (A Poem)

The Coffee Shop
by Kelly F. Barr

Oh the hustle and bustle
Over coffee and tea;
Regular or latte–
What flavor will it be?

People chatting, eating,
Looking at their phones;
Conducting business, studying,
Or writing in their zone.

Those who need a pick-me-up
Make it their early morning stop.
Others leisurely sip their choice
At their favorite coffee shop.