bedtime stories · OBSERVATIONS · picture books

The Next Bedtime Book

When Mermaids Sleep coverWe’re still going strong with Betsy Snyder’s Sweet Dreams Lullaby every night at bedtime.  While there are other books we occasionally throw into the mix, the one constant is Sweet Dreams Lullaby.  That said, one day Isabelle is going to outgrow that book.  I’m not sure when it will happen, but I know I have a book waiting in the wings when she is ready to move on.

I received a review copy of When Mermaids Sleep written by Ann Bonwill and illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. I opened it up and began reading and was transported to another world… a world with pirates, fairies, and unicorns.  This lyrical picture book is a beautiful bedtime story that enchants readers with its rhythmic verse. The illustrations are in jewel-tones and have a dreamlike quality to them.  (I’d love for all of my dreams to look as beautiful as the pictures in When Mermaids Sleep!)

I began reading When Mermaids Sleep aloud while Isabelle was playing.  During the first read she continued playing close to me, looking at the book every now and then.  Once  I finished reading the book, I shifted it to the side and picked up another book I received a review copy of that day.  Isabelle walked across the room, picked up When Mermaids Sleep, and handed it back to me.

“Ah-ah!” she said.  (That means again.)

“You want me to read this book again?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she replied nodding her head.

“Okay, we’ll read it again.”

During the second read aloud, Isabelle sat close and looked at the pictures.  She pointed to the castle and the moon.  She sat still, listening to the rhythmic verses as each page passed.  While she didn’t go to sleep (NOTE: She just woke up from a nap!), she was super-calm after I read it aloud to her.  Clearly, this book has a soothing effect.

I’ll be bringing When Mermaids Sleep upstairs with us tonight.  I’m going to add it to the pre-bedtime book pile to see what happens.  I have a feeling it’s going to become a regular read very soon.


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