We recommend checking out www.readbrightly.com a great site for all your reading needs and super tips like the one featured here. Don’t take our word for it ….. (pardon the pun) see for yourself.
In 2015, a self-published children’s book called The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep burst onto the kids’ lit scene, claiming to be THE bedtime story for kids because it could literally put them to sleep. And its initial success was understandable — bedtime is a harrowing time for many parents and the desire for a magic bullet can be strong!
So how can a book make kids fall asleep? Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin, the author of The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep, has a background in psychology and incorporates many techniques that have sleep-inducing effects into the reading experience. He includes a Reader’s Guide for parents and caregivers on how to actually read the book, and the text is coded throughout (italicized phrases should be read in a slow rhythm, bold words are to be emphasized, and yawns should be placed where noted). The story itself, which follows a rabbit who wants to fall asleep, is admittedly slow and somewhat dull, but that is also by design — too much action and imagination causes our children’s brains to fire up rather than calm down.
For some reason, though, I never tried reading The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep with my pre-K twins. This isn’t because my family doesn’t suffer from its own sleep issues! Oh no … having two children leads to more than double the problems. I just somehow never got around to it. But when Ehrlin’s new book, The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep, recently hit the shelves, I decided to give it a test run. With a new illustrator, it was easy to convince my kids to give it a go, too — Sydney Hanson’s illustrations are both cute (my daughter in particular is drawn to its sweet animals) and have a dreamy quality to them, using colors associated with calm (lots of shades of blue!) and soft edges.