A consistent bedtime routine is a helpful tool in creating the conditions for restful sleep.
This premise is the central theme in this book of five short stories designed for parents to read aloud to their children at bedtime. Within the text of each story, three components are embedded: imagery, muscle relaxation, and mindfulness. The imagery section asks children to imagine in as much detail as possible something from the story, such as a pebble getting cozy in a bed of seaweed or the colors on the shell of a sleepy snail. The muscle-relaxation section invites a tensing and relaxing of first the hands, then the feet, and then the entire body. Finally, the mindfulness section encourages children to notice what is: the feeling of a pillow under the head, the temperature in the room, the breath in the body. Nothing in the content of the stories stands out as especially noteworthy; however, in this case, this is an asset and not a deficit. The objective is not to tantalize the imagination but to help children move their brains from a state of arousal to one of rest. Extensive information on how to use the book is provided for adults. The illustrations are gentle and delicate, with each story allotted its own single-color palette.
Used regularly, this predictable and practical resource could easily become a bedtime staple. (Short stories. 4-10)