Bedtime Blessings

1 April 2009

Bedtime Blessings
by Carleen E. Desautels, Illustrated by Gerri Ann Siwek
Published by Positive Pressures Inc.
Review by Shelley A. Leedahl
$12 ISBN 978-0-9811182-0-8

Few would argue that 21st Century life is hyper-paced. We have too little time to eat, to enjoy nature, to relax in our homes. Sometimes we don’t even have time to talk to our families. What, one wonders, will become of the children who grow up in this super busy environment, where bedtime stories are the exception not the rule, one day blends into another without pause, and negative events regularly receive more attention than positive? It’s easy to gripe about contemporary society, but few of us, it seems, are willing to take steps that might initiate positive change.

Enter Carleen E. Desautels. The Regina writer’s book, Bedtime Blessings, is an illustrated children’s story written “to encourage parents to take the time to help children appreciate and enjoy the positive experiences in their day.” Utilizing her various experience as a nurse, teacher, psychologist, and mother,

Desautels has created a simple rhyming text that allows readers to “see the day through a child’s eyes” and simultaneously teaches children “the skill of positive reflection.”

The book encourages adult-child discussion by including a number of questions, such as: “Tell me about a time today when you felt your heart growing because somebody loved you.” “Who did you play with, talk with, take turns or share with today?” and “Tell me about a time today when you used your words or your hands to be kind to someone.” These questions follow four rhymed (and generically associated) lines .

The high-quality production of this glossy, softcover book will surely delight youngsters. It features full, left-page, bold colour illustrations, created by Gerri Ann Siwek, and the easy-to-read text on the opposing pages appears with bright graphics: birds, flowers, hearts, butterflies, and other small creatures.

Congratulations to Carleen Desautels for recognizing the need for positive reinforcement in the daily lives of children, and for doing something extraordinary about it. Bedtime Blessings will appeal mostly to the eyes and ears of very young children — who might also delight in memorizing\reading the easy verse — and as the title suggests, it’s just right for bedtime.


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