bedtime stories for kids & sleepy adults

For Episode No. 6, we invite you to Stay Awake with John Cutrone as he reads Spooks A-Hunting, a Tirolean folktale for St. Martin's Night, adapted, retold, and illustrated by Diane Goode from the 1994 Dutton Children's Books edition Diane Goode's Book of Scary Stories & Songs.

Scary Factor: Minimal. Suitable for all ages.

Our bedtime stories series began just before Halloween in 2021 with a magical retelling of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in a performance of The Misadventures of Ichabod Crane by master storyteller Jonathan Kruk. This episode is still available, too, and it's a delight no matter what time of year. We also invite you to Stay Awake with John Cutrone as our JCBA Director tells the tale of Pierre, a boy who didn't care. It's a story by Maurice Sendak. You can also stay awake with British artist Davy McGuire as he reads That Pesky Rat by Lauren Child, John Cutrone reading A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Kianga Jinaki as she reads The Greedy Hyena. This is what Stay Awake is all about: Great tales, from us to you, as we gather JCBA friends from around the world to tell stories and read children's books. Our goal is to help your little ones fall asleep. (Kids, don't tell the adults, but our plan is to keep you up with us while the adults catch 40 winks. But that's just between us.)

Watch all our episodes right here at the Stay Awake tab at We hope to release a new bedtime story every month or so. If you have a good story or if you are a good reader, contact us and let's chat about the possibility of getting your tale on the air. Enjoy staying awake with us!


Since everything we do, of course, is brought to you by you, we are seeking sponsors for the Stay Awake series. If your company is interested in books or in kids and families, no matter what shape and form those families take, we'd love to hear from you to build this grass roots global community program. Sponsorships are credited in each storytelling video. All it takes to sponsor a story is $100, which helps us pay for performance rights, where necessary, and helps provide a small stipend for our storytellers (and sometimes our storytellers are sponsors, too, by donating their time and talent). Would you or your company like to be an Executive Producer? Larger contributions make programs like Stay Awake sustainable and will be credited in every episode. Contact us through JCBA Director John Cutrone ( to get details on sponsorships. The process, like a good bedtime story, is ridiculously simple. And in the words of one of our Stay Awake authors: "Nothing you do for children is ever wasted."

While the world is fast asleep,
a story's better than counting sheep.