Book Review: Stars Before Bedtime: A Mindful Fall-asleep Book


Stars Before Bedtime: A Mindful Fall-asleep Book
By: Grace Claire and Dr. Jessamy Hibberd
Illustrated by: Hannah Tolson
Reviewed by: Heidi Hauser Green

Here is a sweet book to share with your child, to develop a habit of mindfulness and peaceful relaxation, particularly at bedtime. A page for grown-ups of “How to Read this Book” explains the book’s format. Stories about the night sky are accompanied by brief relaxation exercises. Families should not look at this as a book they pick up and read through in a single night. Rather, they should share just two or three of the stories/exercises each bedtime. Mindfulness is a positive habit to develop, but the trick is to do it when children are receptive. One way to help children be open to the exercises here is for parents to do them, too! Give everything a try, from the hare-themed stretching pose that accompanies a story about Orion the Hunter to the sitting-up stretching to reach the star known as Polaris, which accompanies a story about the Great Bear and Little Bear. A follow-up note at the end of the book reminds parents that relaxation practices can help with sleep, decrease stress, and improve well-being. The text of this story provides an excellent basis for developing techniques with even young children, but the accompanying illustrations by Hannah Tolson may be the star of the show. They are whimsical, reassuring, imaginative, and show a diverse range of skin tones and families. Recommended for public libraries and home collections. This is a nice selection for reading together with your child a couple of nights a week, perhaps before or after with another picture book or brief story. Later, older children may find comfort in reading the book independently.

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