|Children's cover illustration|
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is one of the greatest books for children's bedtime reading. The Graveyard Book is a spooky modern reimagining of The Jungle Book, telling the story of Nobody Owens, an orphan raised by the ghostly inhabitants of a graveyard. As Bod explores the side-by-side worlds of the living and the dead, his safety is threatened by the man who murdered his family. This is a classic coming-of-age story that will resonate with both young and older readers.
Bedtime reading gold?
What makes The Graveyard Book such a brilliant bedtime read is its structure. Each chapter is an episode, containing a story with a satisfying beginning, middle, and end. Enjoying the story one chapter at a time, children will be excited to continue following Bod's journey, but will sleep soundly at each chapter's end. I think this would also make it a fantastic audio book.
|Adult cover illustration|
Neil Gaiman has referred to The Graveyard Book as "a book for adults that children would like too". It is for parents AND for their children. In fact, the book has been published with several different front cover illustrations to highlight its different demographics.
Two different narratives fit snugly side by side: one of a child's coming of age in a big and scary world; and another of parents struggling with the emotional conflict of letting go as their child outgrows their cotton-wool protection. This double narrative makes The Graveyard Book a rewarding read that validates the experiences and emotions of both young AND older readers.