Slow down ... and sleep tight by Rachel Williams. Illus. by Freya Hartas

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Slow Down… and Sleep Tight is a calming picture book full of gentle rhyme which would be a perfect addition to a young reader’s bedtime stories ritual. The author, Rachel Williams, has previously published Slow Down which looks at the amazing mysteries of nature that can be missed in the busyness of the day. This new book also celebrates the joy and mystery of nature and explores the end of the day, into the night and the dawning of a new day.

Each double page spread has a short verse with a brief tale about a feature of nature followed by an illustration of the focus on the same page. The corresponding page has segmented softly coloured pictures, beautifully drawn by illustrator, Freya Hartas, showing a snapshot of aspects related to the verse. The animals showcased in the story are a bee, bat, bunny, blackbird, squirrel, fox and a wolf. Not traditionally Australian animals but the clever rhyme and use of traditionally familiar creatures allows this book to be a universal read.

At the end of the book is a relaxing and mindful slow down breathing exercise that can be shared between the adult and child. This delightful book has an appealing cover with gold foil lettering and highlights. A perfect gift for a young child or parents-to-be.

Themes: Bedtime, Rhyme, Animals, Nature, Night, Dawn.

Kathryn Beilby