Title: Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories
Author: Bernard Ditchik
Genre: Children’s Books
These delightful tales are sure to help your little ones settle down and drift contentedly off to sleep. Written by a grandfather for his own kids and grandchildren, these eighteen entertaining stories feature lots of talking animals, including a kangaroo who teaches a pony how to jump, a little bear who wants to play baseball, a coyote who learns to fly, a magic balloon that takes a little girl all the way to Japan and back, and some resourceful ants who build a swimming pool so they can play as well as work. It’s full of
positive images and plots that inspire creative solutions to various challenges. A lovely read-aloud adventure the whole family will enjoy!
I didn’t begin my career as an author by writing stories. First, I was a storyteller. Let me explain. Many years ago, when our children were very young, I would sit on their beds at bedtime and tell them a story. Instead of reading a story written by someone else, I preferred to make up my own story right on the spot. They were stories about animals who learned to fly, children who talked to birds, alligators who were friends with elephants, and even one about a horse that learned to jump like a kangaroo. Our children loved them. So I made up lot of stories. Then there was a long period of time when there was no one who wanted to listen to my stories because they had all grown up!
But then, something wonderful happened. We had our first grandchild—and I became Grandpa Bernie. One day, one of my daughters said, “Dad, you have so many stories. I think other children would like to hear them.” That’s when I became an author.
At the age of 93, I am still playing tennis (doubles only) five times a week in a 60+ league. I have been married 64 years to my wonderful wife, Faigie, had three children, and five grandchildren. I continue to sit in my favorite chair, with a large pad on my lap, and a pen in my hand, lean back, and let my imagination soar.
From “The Coyote Who Learned To Fly”
“Can you sing, Tommy?” asked Lulu.
“Oh, no. I can hum a little, but I can’t sing. I can run very fast, though. Watch this!” And he ran up the side of a small hill and back.
“That was a great run, Tommy,” cried Lulu. “I can’t run very fast but watch this!”
Away she flew—high up into the sky. She flew in great big circles and then landed right next to the little coyote.
“That was wonderful!” exclaimed Tommy. “I’d love to be able to do that. Do you think I can learn to fly?”
“Well,” said Lulu, “you need wings to fly.”
“I don’t have any,” the coyote said.
“No, you don’t,” Lulu replied. “But maybe we can make you a pair. Come home with me and we’ll see what we can do.”
After a lot of hard work, they made a pair of wings to fit Tommy. Lulu fastened them on the excited coyote. He stood on his hind legs and tried to flap his wings, but he was barely able to move them.
“I didn’t know how much strength it takes to fly,” said Tommy. He took his wings off, sat down and started to think. Suddenly he smiled and said, “Lulu, I have an idea. Come with me.”
From “Jodie’s Magic Balloon”
There was a stand with beautiful balloons of all colors and shapes. They were on long strings and floated high in the air.
Jodie grabbed her father’s hand and pulled him right to the stand. When the man selling the balloons saw her, he winked and said, “I have a special magic balloon just for you, Jodie.”
“How do you know my name?” she asked, surprised.
“I’m a magician,” he said. “And when I made this balloon, I saw it had instructions stating that it was only to be given to a little girl named Jodie.”
“But how did you know that was me?”
“Oh,” the magician said with a smile. “That was easy. The instructions also said I would recognize her because she has the tiniest nose you ever saw and the sweetest smile. As soon as I saw you, I know you were that person.”
The man gave Jodie a very large and beautiful balloon. It had every color of the rainbow and sparkled like gold in the sunlight.
“Oh,” said Jodie. “It”s beautiful. But why is this a magic balloon?”
The magician smiled again. “When you crawl inside this wonderful balloon, it will obey everything you ask it to do. Would you like to try it?”
“Oh, yes!” Jodie cried excitedly, and she crawled inside the balloon. “It’s very comfortable in here. Now what do I do?”
“Just tell the balloon to go anywhere you like,” answered the magician with another smile.
“Please take me high into the sky, even higher than the clouds” instructed Jodie.
From “Batter Up, Norman”
“Here, I’ll show you what to do. First stand up on your hind legs,” instructed Matthew.
Norman stood on his hind legs.
Then Matthew put the bat into the bear’s front paws. “Now when the ball is thrown towards you, swing the bat and try to hit the ball. Remember to keep your eyes on the ball, Norman. After you hit it, run to first base as fast as you can,” said Matthew, pointing to first base. “Okay, let us know when you’re ready!”
Norman walked up to home plate. The little bear took a few practice swings and then yelled, “Okay, I’m ready!”
The pitcher threw the first pitch. It was a good one, but the little bear was so frightened to see the ball flying right at him that he squeezed his eyes shut.
He swung the bat around wildly—and missed!
“Try again!” yelled Matthew. “And don’t close your eyes!”
The second pitch was a really good one, right over the plate. Norman kept his eyes open, but he looked right away as he swung his bat and the ball landed behind him.
“I missed again,” he said sadly.
“Just keep your eyes on the ball when you swing,” shouted Matthew.
This time, when the pitcher threw the ball, Norman kept his eyes wide open and glued on the ball. He gave a mighty swing.