Review Blog

Mar 25 2020

Ten minutes to bed Little Unicorn by Rhiannon Fielding

cover image

Illus. by Chris Chatterton. Penguin Random House, 2020. ISBN: 9780241408339. board book, 28pp.
(Age: 2-5) First published in 2018, this is one in a series of Ten Minutes to Bed books (including Little Monster and Little Mermaid). It's an overt bedtime story set in The Land of Nod (the endpapers show a map of the land and where each of the characters live) and similar in concept to other books about bedtime reluctance such as Play and I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed. In addition, a counting element is included as it counts down the minutes until bedtime from ten to one. "Ten minutes to bed!" Dad tells Twinkle (unnecessarily labelled "the naughty unicorn"). But Twinkle isn't tired. So off she trots, causing a bit of a riot, despite her dad's insistence that she keep quiet. She is dancing and prancing, chasing pixies and fairies, following footprint trails and chasing shooting stars. "Four minutes" she says to herself when she is far from home and can no longer hear her father's voice. Summoning a rainbow to take her home, Twinkle makes it just in time; perhaps she is ready for bed, after all!
Twinkle's magical journey will delight young ones, who will see in the illustrations the progression from sunset light to moonlight. The enchanted wood where the unicorns live is filled with wonderful creatures and the depiction of light has been cleverly used to calm and soothe children (glowing lights within the forest, moon and shimmering stars). There is a nice message here for children about being responsible and in control of their own body and winding down for sleep. Little Unicorn seems to pay no attention to the countdown but by the end of the ten minutes she is already asleep. It may even help some younger children to set in place their own countdown to bedtime and assist with an understanding of self-settling. Themes: Bedtime, Unicorns, Counting Book, Rhyming Story.
Nicole Nelson

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