TIME FOR BED, SLEEPYHEAD
The Falling Asleep Book
by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
Illustrated by Gail Yerrill
ages 4 to 8
Ten-time New York Times bestselling author and child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen teams up with artist Gail Yerrill to create a book that helps facilitate sleep. Time for Bed, Sleepyhead pairs whimsical illustrations with storytelling techniques to tire your child’s imagination in order to help them settle down at bedtime and fall asleep.
Little Bear isn't ready to fall asleep no matter what Mama Bear says. So she invites him on an imaginary journey to a day at the beach with a car load of friends.
This book is written by the popular psychiatrist Daniel Amen, M.D., with the purpose of assisting parents/grandparents to guide their children into sleep through visual and calming techniques. In this sense, it does a wonderful job. The gentle listing of friends, imagery of situations which inspire secure and comforting feelings, and mental guidance all the way through a relaxing end encourage the mind to slow down. The illustrations accompany this goal masterfully. They are kept in the pastel colors range--bright yet soothing. All creatures and scenes inspire good feelings and a sense of friendship and security.
The illustrations, even outside of their calming goals, are a treat to look at. The animals and scenes are well done. Young readers are sure to grab the book and flip through them again and again.
The journey the bear and his friends embark on is well paced and brings up several moments young readers can relate to. The details to each friend and what they do is sure to grab interest and remain in memory. Although most of the book is well-geared to the younger age group, there are times which the writing has too much of an adult/clinical touch. In the first pages, Mother Bear tries to explain why Little Bear needs to sleep, but her explanation has a 'professional' touch (not that of a mother). Although the story is lovely and easy to read, the flow is broken by constant listing of times--now this. Then this.
Summed up, this is a wonderful book to use as a mental journey to guide young children to sleep with illustrations which are sure to grab their interest. The listeners are sure to grow drowsy and the described mental trip is very fitting for the age group. But if the kids are looking for a true story and don't have the patience to take a trip in their mind themselves, this might not be the best choice.