What if there was a book guaranteed to make even the most sleep-resistant child nod off peacefully at bedtime? If you’ve been following The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep, you’ll know that although this book isn’t quite a guarantee, it’s pretty close.
This self-published picture book by Swedish author Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin was an almost overnight success, the front cover proclaiming, “I can make anyone fall asleep.” Ehrlin’s secret lies in utilizing techniques rooted in psychology. These techniques—such as repetitive language, characters with sleepy names (Uncle Yawn, Heavy-Eyed Owl), and instructions to parents to yawn at the end of certain sentences—convey a sleepy mood to children, who then begin to feel sleepy themselves. Response to the book has been largely positive, with many parents saying that the book did indeed help their children to fall asleep. Publisher’s Weekly recently announced that Penguin Random House has acquired the English rights to the book, which will see its new, updated print release on October 2.
In light of this phenomenon, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite bedtime books which, although they are no guarantee to instant sleep, will certainly become classics for children and their families.
Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
Considered a classic by many since its publication in 1947, Goodnight Moon has become a staple of every child’s library. Who doesn’t love to say goodnight to the room, the mittens, the kittens or the mouse? We love this quiet, calming read that puts kids in just the right bedtime mood.
Pajama Time! by Sandra Boynton
Sandra Boynton’s book about pajamas makes going to bed fun. Animals jump into their pajamas and dance around the room before hopping into bed and dozing off. After reading Boynton’s bouncy text and seeing lively illustrations of animals in pajamas, kids will be begging their parents to start their bedtime rituals too.
Black & White Nighty-Night, by Sarah Jones
This high-contrast board book from blue manatee press author Sarah Jones is perfect for babies’ developing eyes. Soothing, rhyming text and endearing illustrations of cozy farm animals settling down to sleep is the perfect book to cuddle up with before bed.
What are some of your family’s favorite bedtime books?