Time for Bed, Sleepyhead: The Falling Asleep Book
Written by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. and illustrated by Gail Yerrill
In this hypnotic book written by renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel G. Amen, children are encouraged to fall asleep through visualization techniques and calming words. As the Little Bear in the story snuggles into bed, Mama Bear explains why sleep is so important and then tells him a story. With an emphasis on imagination, the book’s storytelling style encourages children to close their eyes and imagine that what is happening to Little Bear, is actually happening to them.
I found this book quite intriguing but I’m a bit torn on how to review it.
First the things I loved:
The illustrations are darling and definitely help move the story along. All the little animals are lovingly made and give the book a soft, sweet feel, perfect for a quiet bedtime book.
I also love the idea of this book. The style of writing makes the reader feel like Mama Bear is talking directly to you. This is fun and I think children will feel very engaged in the story. I love that the book encourages children to visualize what is happening and close their eyes and relax. I think this technique would be fun and effective for getting children to quiet down and prepare for sleep.
It’s not that I didn’t love other parts of the book, I just found it to feel a bit clinical. The doctor is using techniques he has applied in his own practice in the way he tells this story. For some reason this felt a bit weird to me. The story isn’t bad and the technique isn’t bad, it’s just when the two combine in a children’s story, it didn’t completely work for me.
The book is trying to do two things. Be a lovely, sweet bedtime story, and also a step-by-step, hypnotic, persuasive tool.
I believe the joining of these two concepts leads to the awkward feeling I had while reading it. The warning at the beginning of the book also seemed a bit strange. The book warns to not read aloud in a car as it may cause the driver to become drowsy.
I recognized the techniques used in the book from some relaxation exercises I did in a class at school once. I think these techniques are fun and effective, and if the book is looked at as only a tool for these techniques, then I think it is excellent.
If you are looking for a fun, quiet story that can be enjoyed anytime, then this is not the book you are looking for.
For what this book is doing, by combining a form of visualization similar to hypnosis and still providing a fairly decent story, I think it does the best it can.
I would recommend this book as long as you purchase it knowing, it really is “The Falling Asleep Book” and is not just a cute bedtime story.