my favorite bedtime book: jim averbeck's In a Blue Room

June 29, 2009

If you only read one of the books I suggest, please read this one. Seriously. It's amazing. What? Don't have kids you say? Doesn't matter. Read it anyways. You don't need a kid to read this one. 

This is the perfect bedtime book. We checked it out at the library several months ago--before I started reviewing books on this blog. Not able to get this one out of my head, I have been searching the shelves for it ever since. Fortunately for me, I found it this week. 

I have a slight insomnia problem, so maybe that is why I love this book so much. It tells the story of a little girl named alice who has a little trouble winding down for bedtime. By establishing soothing bedtime rituals, her mother lovingly and artfully helps her move from bouncing on the bed to peaceful slumber. Reading her do this, helps me wind down and feel like maybe, just maybe, I can fall asleep too. 

Alice is the not kind of girl who will go down easy. As her mother brings in the first sleep aid--flowers--she says, "I can only sleep in a blue room..
.blue is my favorite. And those--aren't--blue." 

Mama is not deterred by this, she simply says, "Ah...but smell." 

"In a blue room, lilacs and lily whites give off a gentle scent. Alice twirls around, plops down, and breathes deep."

See? Don't you feel a little sleepy just by reading that?

As much as I would like to simply type the rest of the book word for word for you, I will restrain myself. You need to get the book so you can enjoy Tasha Tudor's gorgeous illustrations. 

I will tell you that mama does not stop with the flowers. She brings in tea, and an extra quilt, and lullaby bells before turning out the light. 

As the light clicks off, the moonlight shines through
 the window, "bathing everything in its pale blue light." 

And the last page shows the earth and moon floating in the middle of space with "Alice fast a blue room." 


Juliet loves this book also, especially the lullaby bells. Her interest inspired our activity idea for this book.

Activity Idea: Lullaby Bells

Make your own lullaby bells. All you need is a stick (you can find one outside or use a pencil or any other rod you have handy), some black string, and jingle bells (these are easy to find at walmart or a craft store).  

1. Cut the string to whatever length you desire. 

2. Tie a knot where you want the bell to stay and then string the bell onto the cord. Tie another knot higher up and add another bell. You can space the bells however you like and put as many or as few as you please. We chose to put three bells per string. 

3. Tie the belled strings onto your stick and then attach another string to serve as the hanger. 

4. Hang in your child's window or doorknob. 

Here's a picture of one of the ones we made. Juliet has one hanging on her doorknob and one out on our back porch. When I told her we were making lullaby bells she said, "to sing me to sleep!" 

Hopefully, this book inspires you to add a few new things to your bedtime ritual. It inspired me to start drinking tea. I think I'll try flowers next....


Jenny said...

I am glad you can do crafts with your child. One day when she is older you will read about a PEARL and Juliet can draw you a map.

Brimful Curiosities said...

One of my favorites as well!

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