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June 03, 2017
When you have a young child who struggles with falling asleep, you’ll try almost anything. One thing that works for most parents is to read a child a bedtime story. However, finding just the right book to do the job can be tricky. Too stimulating of a story or imagery, and your child’s mind runs wild. Too short of a book and you are left looking for another to help ease your child to the Land of Nod. Thankfully Doctor Seuss books offer the perfect respite with the Dr. Seuss “Sleep Book.”
But how does the book work so effectively for a sleepy time routine?
From the first page with the act of yawning, to lines of “They’re going to bed” and “Do you talk in your sleep…?” every part of this book is about sleeping, including the act of getting sleepy and yawning, to learning how the imaginary creatures prepare for bed. The sleep book Dr. Seuss has written is pure magic. While reading you, too, will yawn just from the telltale phrases that lure you to sleep.
Along with the text of the story are images depicting sleeping creatures. Every single small bug and creature is featured with closed peepers, save for the two Biffer-Baum Birds and one single eye of a Audio-Telly-o-Tally-o Count. This makes you, too, want to lower your lids and drift into dream time.
Another relaxing aspect of the imagery is the color palette. Only three colors are used throughout the entire book—red, turquoise, and golden yellow. Remember that the three primary colors are red, blue, and yellow? The Dr. Seuss’s “Sleep Book” keeps things simple with varying shades of these primary hues. This is perfect for young readers as they are not distracted by images in bright and unexpected colors. Every page and every image is expected, which relaxes the eyes and mind.
The one thing that Doctor Seuss books are most famous for is the use of rhyme combined with nonsensical words and creatures. While the Curious Crandalls, Chippendale Mupps, Snorter McPhail, and the Foona-Lagoona Baboonas are not something a child would ever find at a local zoo, they live and breathe in the “Sleep Book” by Dr. Seuss. But the author didn’t choose random, imaginary names for his stories. Each word is chosen, or made up, based on Dr. Seuss’s ability to create the unexpected. He twisted the rules of language so the content isn’t a typical sentence structure of subject-verb.
For children listening to these lines aloud, it takes their mind off of the expected and forces them to concentrate on the content to understand what it all means. Another lingual device by Dr. Seuss in the “Sleep Book” is the use of the letters ‘s’ and ‘o’ quite frequently. When you say the ‘s’ sound in the story it sounds like a ‘zzzz,’ while the sound of ‘o’ forces the reader’s mouth into a yawning position. This combination puts both the reader and the listener in a relaxed an ready-to-sleep state of mind.
If you are fond of Dr. Seuss and want to expand your child’s bedside table to include more sleep-inducing stories, check out “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and “Green Eggs and Ham.” Both of these are long and repetitive, and perfect for putting your child in a relaxed state and ready for sleeping.