Tuesday 14 May 2019

Hayden’s Bedtime

Hayden’s Bedtime by Wendy Haynes, illustrated by Brett Curzon (Inprint Publishing) HB RRP $22.99 ISBN: 9780987643506

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

Many children fret about the infamous monster under the bed, and Hayden is no different. He begs his dad to check not only under his bed, but also behind his door, inside his cupboard and in his drawer. To Hayden’s delight, his dad finds nothing more sinister than ‘a blue building block’ and ‘a very smelly sock’. After listening to a bedtime story, Hayden settles down easily because ‘the coast is clear’ and he has ‘nothing to fear’.

Hayden’s Bedtime is a charming book for children aged three to six years. Inspired by her grandson’s dread of going to bed, Wendy Haynes has created a cheerful and comforting story that chases kids’ concerns away. Fun rhymes ease the stress of getting reluctant youngsters to sleep, ensuring that the bedtime routine is enjoyable for all involved.

Brett Curzon’s sweet illustrations are bursting with bright pinks, deep blues and vivid oranges. They work well with the text, adding a unique layer of tenderness to the tale. The characterisation of the father is particularly appealing, with the bespectacled dad soon becoming an amusing yet reassuring influence throughout the pages.

The strength of Hayden’s Bedtime lies in the book’s ability to allay a child’s wildest worries about the night, replacing them with vibrant vignettes and happy dreams. The sleepy smile on Hayden’s face as his dad says ‘goodnight’ makes for a touching end to this enjoyable story.

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