A sleep aid for preschoolers by prolific children’s-book author Egan (The Kitten Who Wants to Be the Boss of Her Temper, 2015, etc.).
Misti, a kitten, wants very much to go to sleep, but she has many things on her mind. Fortunately, she has a fairy grandmother who’s eager to help her and her friend (the reader) drift off. First, the fairy grandmother summons two unnamed elves to put Misti’s worries in a basket and take them to their workshop to develop solutions. Three girl teddy bears, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, also provide assistance. The whole party floats down a staircase and encounters a drowsy puppy and Snuggles, a dozy squirrel, both of whom convey advice in rhyme (“Slowly breathe in at the end of the day, / Slowly breathe out to send worries away"). Finally, the fairy grandmother produces magical, sweet-smelling petals that, along with a magic spell, will send the most reluctant, recalcitrant preschooler to slumberland. The story of Misti, though, is only one component of Egan’s program. The author also includes instructions on how adults may best use the story as well as general advice for falling asleep that’s suitable for all ages. (She also includes summaries of other books in The Kitten Who… series.) Egan makes the story interactive and soothing, encouraging caregivers to read it to the end whether children fall asleep or not. She helpfully provides opportunities to insert a child’s name into the narrative (“Do you like doing these things too, [name]?”) as well as guidelines on which words to emphasize or draw out. The rather silly story is primarily intended for preschoolers, but the advice is useful for all ages (although adult insomniacs are unlikely to buy this book for themselves). Egan also makes quite clear that the illustrations are secondary to the narrative; visualizing the story for oneself is part of the process.
A soothing, slumber-inducing story for young readers.