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

honouring the simple, unconditional (sometimes intense!) childhood love of fabric-friends

honouring the simple, unconditional (sometimes intense!) childhood love of fabric-friends

ages 2 to 6 years
When Ivy was a newborn, some ladies from Church gave her a cuddly pink bunny blanket with her name on it. She was never the best sleeper, so ‘bunny’ became a wonderful tool for comforting/settling—we couldn't (wouldn’t) go anywhere without her.

Ivy is now 4-years-old, but bunny still means the world to her. She doesn’t need her for comfort now, but the friend who helped her through so many difficult times still holds immense value. I think that’s why she loves Guff

Read More

an ode to dads and the value of a simple childhood

an ode to dads and the value of a simple childhood

ages 2 to 8 years—and dads!
Sam introduces us to his whole family, Mum, brother Leon, and Dad, and tells us about the things he does with his Dad. They’re simple things—the stuff of a blessedly ordinary childhood.... As he shares his life, we see the love and admiration Sam has for Dad but even more, we see the love Dad has for his family.

Read More

delighting in the extraordinary brings confidence and happiness

delighting in the extraordinary brings confidence and happiness

ages 2 to 8 years
his is a must-read must-own - it speaks to the anxiety of being separated from family, the strangeness of new worlds, reconciliation with those new worlds, a return to family..... few books speak to family love as strongly as Stellaluna. 
 

Read More

the power and beauty of a birth surrounded by home, hearth and love

the power and beauty of a birth surrounded by home, hearth and love

ages birth to 10 years
There’s an unforgettable beauty to birth—the kind of beauty that links generations. And I can’t imagine a more tender and gentle tribute to mothers and the wonder of birth than Hello Baby. I still get goosebumps every time I read it.
 

Read More

a good lead-in to talking about body image

a good lead-in to talking about body image

When an elephant worries about being fat, it's a sure sign that something is wrong with her body image. This is a funny book that will ring true for many children - it's great for pointing out the absurdity of dieting.
ages 2 to 8 years / funny

Read More

a real-life story about the value of work and philanthropy

a real-life story about the value of work and philanthropy

Set in Ghana. Years ago, when Max was eight, we had a conversation that went something like this:
Max:  So Mum what is the solution to the people in Africa who only have one bag of grain a month to eat. One Hen goes a long way towards answering that question.
ages 4 to 12 years

Read More