Stars Before Bedtime: A Mindful Fall-Asleep Book is a beautifully illustrated non-fiction picture book all about the night sky with both facts and related mythical stories. It is a book to reach right across the primary age range. What makes this book unique is that on each page, there are sleep exercises to try with children to help them settle and relax before bed to help have a good sleep.
Each exercise is a tried and tested technique, recommended by an expert; it also links to the fact or the myth on the page. So for instance, on the page about Draco, the snake-like dragon constellation, the exercise is to stretch out in bed like a snake, take a deep breath in and then a long breath out, making a hissing noise, like a snake. I love that each exercise is easy to find on each page with a small pink crescent moon shape next to them. As each double page is complete on its own, you can start anywhere in the book and share as many stories, facts and exercises as you choose each time you visit it.
There are tips and notes for grown-ups at the beginning and end of the book. While I think the primary intention of this book is a before bedtime book, I think it could also be used within an educational setting with children to help them to develop relaxation techniques. Once children have tried out all the techniques and found the ones they like to do, they have them to use at bedtime, even if they don’t have the book at home. This could be a lovely book to bring out before home time in school, at the end of a PE lesson or in a drama lesson.
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