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Going Beyond the Book, Reviews of Jewish children's books.
Using Literature to Build Jewish Values in Your Children

The Jewish children's book Bedtime Let's go "Beyond the Book" with Bedtime.
Ages 1.5-4

That fateful word our children hear every night - Bedtime. Bedtime is for some of us the worst time of the day. The children “stall”, we think, to get more attention and make an already tired adult more tired.

Bedtime is a story about a little boy who calls to his mother to come back into his room after she has said good-night. He hears water running-so he asks for a drink; he hears the noisy mixer-so he wants to sleep with his noisy car; he hears his mother’s voice as she speaks on the phone-so he asks for her to sing him a bedtime song once more.

She reacts to all this in three ways-first, she leaves the room and tells him “I love you” the second time she is called back, she kisses his forehead-the third time, she realizes the true issue and gives his hand a squeeze.

For all children, the feeling of being alone after hours of being in the light of the day and in the company of friends and family- of teachers and parents, cannot be just turned off by a little switch called bedtime.

The book Bedtime is very unique in that it is written in the child’s voice. What goes through a little one’s mind at night in the dark and quiet of the home eludes us. I know that my son-in-law still remembers hearing the floor creak and believing that some stranger may have entered, holding his breath in anticipation of the worst.

Let’s remember, before we sleep at night we ask Hashem to

"…protect us and remove from us the enemy, pestilence, sword, famine and sorrow.“ We ask Hashem to remove the adversary from before us and from behind us, to shelter us in the shadow of his wings, and guard our going out and our coming in for a good life and peace from now and for all time; for You, benevolent G-d, are our guardian and our deliverer."

The mother comforts him in a child’s version by singing -

"Lie down on your pillow,
And snuggle up so tight
Hashem is always with you,
It’s time to say good night."

To go beyond the book with Bedtime is to introduce the belief in Hashem’s presence on a personal level, to guard and protect us and to always be with us in the physical night and the night of golus that we experience every day.

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