The Sleepy Pebble and other stories
Doctor Alice Gregory, Christy Kirkpatrick and Eleanor Hardiman
Flying Eye Books
Alice Gregory, sleep researcher and writer Christy Kirkpatrick have collaborated on this book of stories to share at bedtime.
Adults, parents in particular, know how hard it can be to get little ones off to sleep and this collection of calming tales, together with the activities suggested, is specially designed to help children wind down and relax, allowing them to drift off into the land of nod.
There are five stories, each one soothing and an ideal length for bedtime. They feature in turn the sleepy pebble; a willow tree that wants to stay up late;
a giraffe that enjoys a long bath to relax her at night, a kind and careful snail and finally, a pig that loves to cook.
The same muscle relaxation routine is used during each one except that the child is asked to imagine holding and squeezing in the first, Pebble, in the second some soil, in the third big heavy clouds, in the fourth the listener becomes the snail curling into its shell and soft warm dough is the final item to squeeze.
The guided visualisation intended to engage all the senses uses imagery appropriate to each story and the mindfulness – the focus on body awareness – is repeated for concluding every story session.
Eleanor Hardiman’s exquisitely detailed illustrations executed in calming colours (different hues for each story) add to the book’s dreamy quality.
Also included are an explanatory introduction, tips for ‘relaxing bedtime and better sleep’ plus ten questions and answers.
Wearing my yoga teacher’s hat I fully endorse the techniques included in this beautifully produced storybook. It should prove invaluable to parents who struggle with getting their children to nod off and to sleep through so they wake next morning restored and full of energy.