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Tuck-Me-In Tales: Bedtime Stories From Around The World

Tuck-Me-In Tales: Bedtime Stories From Around The World

Author: Margaret Read MacDonald
Illustrator: Yvonne LeBrun Davis

Five stories of bedtime.

"Snow Bunting's Lullaby" (Eiven, Siberia): Kutkha the raven steals Mother Snow Bunting’s lullaby and Baby won't stop crying. Be sure to encourage the children to sing quietly along with you on the lullaby.

"Kanji-Jo, the Nestlings" (Mende, Liberia): Five abandoned babies leave their nest and search for their mother. Let the children chant with the chicks and sing along. "You're not our MOTHER! Our mother sings like THIS." The mother had been stolen away by the hunter, but escapes in time for a happy ending.

"Chin Chin Kobakama" (Japan): Lazy Mariko just pokes her toothpicks in cracks in her tatami floor each night, instead of discarding them properly. She is awakened and terrorized by miniature samurai who emerge to use the toothpicks for swordfights. Her father discovers what is drawing them to her room. She cleans up her mess and they never return.

"The Playground of the Sun and the Moon"(Aruacano, Argentina & Chile): Sun chases moon for her silver ring.

"Counting Sheep" (British Isles): an endless story designed to drive children mad so they will stop asking for more stories. "One sheep jumped over the fence...baaa." "Another sheep jumped over the fence...baaa..."

Type Year Publisher Price Length   ISBN
Paperback  1996  August House  $9.95    0-87483-622-0 
Hardcover  1996  August House  $19.95    0-87483-461-9 
Audio: Cassette  1996  August House  $12.00    0-87483-511-9 

Additional Information and Resources


Retell this story
Retell “Kanji-Jo” and lead the children in acting it out.

Create your own lullabies
Encourage the children to create their own lullabies after hearing “Snow Bunting’s Lullaby”

Paper samurai
Make paper samurai with real toothpick swords.

Red Samurai (PDF 519.0KB)  
Purple Samurai (PDF 735.0KB)  

Make Sun and Moon stick puppets
Make Sun and Moon stick puppets using paper plates. Create gold and silver rings of foil-paper or ribbon covered pipe cleaners. In teams, or as a group, gently act out the story of “Playground of the Sun and Moon.”


"exquisite watercolors create vivid images in a magical tone"  ...Calgary’s Child

"MacDonald's reputation as a fine storyteller, folklorist, and educator will draw attention to this heavily illustrated collection of five traditional bedtime stories. As in her resource books for adults, her retellings of these lesser-known tales form a multitude of cultures are simple and crisp. ....The stories themselves are reassuring with strong rhymes and repetition, making them good for reading aloud."  ...Booklist, !0/1/96 Julie Corsaro

"Audio review: Whether MacDonald is whispering, singing, or shrieking, the rhythm of these delightful stories grabs listeners and weaves them into her spell. Recommended for children ages 30 to 7, enjoyed alone or with the picture book...for all who love to be read to, children and adults alike, to enjoy together."  ...New Age Retailer, July/AUgust 2001

"What a beautiful gift book this will make! Glossy, rich, full-page watercolors enrich this treasure of bedtime stories from around the world."  ...Parent's Council Gift Ideas, July-Sept 98

"Patrons will enjoy sharing this book with their children and grandchildren."  ...School Library Journal. Nov. 1996

"MacDonald is a master storyteller, and her notes on "Telling These Stories" and "About these stories" are an excellent example of the kind of documentation that should be in a book of this type."  ...Multicultural Review, June 27, 1997 Melinda Greenblatt

"Margaret Read MacDonald, true to her research librarian background, has rooted out a half dozen fine, fresh tales."  ...Story Bag, Nov. 2001


Elementary School Library Collection, 17th Ed.

Bowker Best Books for Children

Parent Council Outstanding

Best Books for Bedtime, Calgary’s Child

Best Books for Children 7th ed.

Categories and Keywords
Categories Keywords



August House