A child’s first experience with literature generally occurs at bedtime. So why not read them a story about going to bed? Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep, written by Joyce Dunbar, is a great bedtime story. A young bunny, Willa, is really tired and wants to go to sleep, but is unable to fall asleep for fear of having a bad dream. After tossing and turning she seeks advice from her older brother, Willoughby, who suggests, “Think of something happy, then you wont have a bad dream.” Willa tries to take her brother’s advice, alas she cannot think of something happy. Willa once again turns to her older brother for advice, “Tell me something happy before I go to sleep.” Willoughby takes his sister through their house showing her many happy things, such as: her rooster slippers, the breakfast that they will share in the morning, and her basket of toys. Willa finally becomes tired and ready for sleep. The story ends with the following exchange:
“And when the morning comes and wakes me up, will you still be here?” asked Willa.
“I’ll still be here,” said Willoughby,
“Good,” said Willa. “That’s the happiest thing of all.”
This is a fantastic bedtime story for young children because the actions of the characters in the story parallel their own. It also highlights the bond that siblings share and the love that they have for one another. Lastly, it gives the child something happy before he or she goes to sleep.