Lights Out, Leonard: an all too relatable bedtime routine

 
lights out leonard.jpg
 

Some people are blessed with kids that love to sleep – unfortunately I’m not one of them. Bedtime is often crazy, long, and a battle. Ivy has just entered the ‘afraid of the dark’ stage, which has added a whole new dimension to bedtime.

We are all finding Lights Out, Leonard by Josh Pyke a little too relatable at the moment. It’s the story of a little boy (Leonard) who is NOT afraid of the dark.

Leonard was not afraid of the dark. That would be silly.

No, Leonard was afraid of the things that hid in the dark.

When it was time to go to sleep, Leonard’s mum kissed him goodnight. ‘Lights out, Leonard,’ she said. But Leonard cried ‘NO!’

Every time Leonard’s mum or dad come in to turn off the light Leonard cries ‘NO!’ and tells them all about the horrible monsters he can see in the room.

And then the page that any parent, anywhere, can relate to:

His mum and dad both sighed. They were tired.

So that night the lights in Leonard’s room stayed on.

This goes on for a long time, with Leonard becoming more and more frightened. Eventually Leonard’s parents have a stroke of genius and help Leonard overcome his fear of the monsters who live in the dark.

Lights Out, Leonard is a wonderful a conversation starter around ideas like:

-       We all have things we are afraid of

-       Allowing children/everyone time to process their concerns/worries

-       Ways to voice our fears or concerns

-       Our perception vs. reality (of course it was shadows that fuelled Leonards imagination)

-       Finding solutions outside the box

 Lights Out, Leonard is a beautifully funny story that is perfect for helping children and grown ups face their fears and find ways to help each other.

Lights Out, Leonard
by Josh Pyke illustrated by Chris Nixon – Puffin Books, 2019
ages 2 to 8 years / imagination + heartwarmers

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge: a loving look at memory loss and friendship

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge: a loving look at memory loss and friendship

That’s a major gap in a child’s life and one we tried to fill with elderly friends from church and other grandparents and great-grandparents of friends. 

I think that one of the reasons we realised this was so important was that we had both read Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge dozens and dozens of times.  

Read More

The New Small Person: welcoming a new baby can be a tricky business!

The New Small Person: welcoming a new baby can be a tricky business!

Three-year-old Ivy is excitedly awaiting the arrival of a baby brother in a couple of months. She’s looking for things that will be the same and different for them. 

He’ll be little and she’ll be big. But, after a bath: ‘he’ll have a naked bottom just like me’.  Both true. 

Ivy is pretty keen for this baby to arrive. (So am I, truth be told.) Still, there’s bound to be some adjusting to do. 

The New Small Person is all about the adjustment – and the process.

Ages 2 to 8

Read More

Because Amelia Smiled: how a little girl's smiles went round the world and back

Because Amelia Smiled: how a little girl's smiles went round the world and back

This is a wonderfully circular book. Amelia smiles, her smile is contagious and spreads all around the world and finally finds its way back to her - and she smiles again!

I love a book that shows (but doesn’t preach about) the interconnectedness of people around the world – this book manages exactly that.

And I think the key is the joyfulness of the illustrations. There’s a fuzziness* to them that invites the reader into the edges of the world each character inhabits. 

Read More

a three eyed, long eared alien child reminds us to be welcoming and inclusive

a three eyed, long eared alien child reminds us to be welcoming and inclusive

ages 2 to 8 years
Feeling lost, unwelcome or out of place is one of childhood’s certainties. They’re feelings that will come to every child in one measure or another. Teens, of course, continue to have those feelings, and so do adults. For displaced people, regardless of age, those feelings are frequently more than an emotional reaction—they can be the cold hard facts of life. Beegu is a displaced alien child who....

Read More