A lullaby without the music is this soporific offering wherein a small bear is gently lulled to sleep by his family members. His Mummy tells him there is ‘no secret to sleeping’ but talks about the surrounding darkness; Papa teaches him a technique that involves wiggling his various body parts one by one to help him settle. Then comes Nana who suggests sinking down into the softness of his bed; and Granpy Bear talks of listening to the night – its hum of quiet and stillness. All around Dozy, the other animals are fast asleep and now Dozy himself is close to sleeping and it’s Mama Bear’s exhortation for him to take long, deep breaths innn – and ouuuuuut … repeated over and over that finally transports her little one off into the world of nod.
This is very much a read aloud at bedtime book and one I’m sure a good many parents will welcome with open arms; its hypnotic quality certainly has the desired effect: it’s almost like yoga nidra for the very young.
There is plenty in Richard Smythe’s collage style illustrations to hold the interest of the more alert listeners; his scenes perfectly capture the dreamlike quality of the text; those slumbering animals Dozy thinks about look completely blissed out. They are certainly well worth revisiting at a time when adults are not using the book as a sleep inducer.