Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep ISBN: 9781328910684
Published by Doubleday UK, 2007
This gentle, loving story about siblings is the perfect antidote to night-time worries. Willoughby and Willa share bunk beds, Willoughby on the top and Willa underneath, and one night Willa can't get to sleep because she is 'afraid that I might have a bad dream.' Older Willoughby is very understanding and says why doesn't she try thinking of something happy. She tries, she really does, but can't come up with anything. There is a lovely picture connected to Willa's 'thinking process' of her lying on her pillow with her long ears crossed over her face (the two children are rabbits!) So Willoughby begins by asking Willa to look under her bed to see what is there. She reports that her chicken slippers are there. 'And do you know what your chicken slippers are doing? They are waiting, just waiting, for nobody's feet but yours.' 'That's happy,' replies Willa. And then follows a long catalogue of things just waiting to make Willa happy - her clothes to put on, things for her breakfast, toys in the toy box, the night waiting for the morning - and then a lyrical description of the morning waiting to happen, which is the happiest thing of all. The only sad thing is that the morning wants to wake Willa up, and it can't do that unless she goes to sleep - which she does. The wonderful, musical, memorable text is equalled only by the sensitive and beautifully painted pictures of two children in a cosy, happy home, who love and support each other in very special ways. The copy I saw was a board book, but there are bound to be all sorts of different kinds of productions of this story. It should be on all young children's shelves.