Tuesday, December 13, 2011
NEVER BE AFRAID TO LOOK UNDER YOUR BED AGAIN
Fears we all have them. Kids sometimes see shadows in the middle of the night and often get scared. Some think that monsters are hiding under their bed and get scared. Others run out of their room into their parent’s bedroom and climb in with them. I did. Actually, I used to kick my mom out and told my Dad to slide over and leave him for little me. My Dad was a big teddy bear and whenever I was around him I felt safe. Why are kids afraid to go to bed and what can parents do to make them feel safe? Toni and Tim Williams wrote Timmy’s Bedtime: A Monster Bear Tale hoping to help parent find the solution to this problem. The answers are not always easy but since they wrote this based on their daughter who 40 years ago was afraid of monsters, maybe their creative and innovative solution will help you.
Timmy did not want to go to bed and asked his father if he could sleep with the lights on. He tried to make him think that his dinner was squiggling around in his tummy and that he was not really tired. But, no matter what Timmy did to try and get out of going to bed his father had an answer for him. Instead of getting angry and not listening he asked Timmy what the problem was and he asked, “What do you know about monsters?” This is the all important question that he needed an immediate answer to and would not go to sleep unless he uncovered everything his father might know about this crucial subject. To show him he was paying close attention first his father raised one eyebrow but when he raised two Timmy knew he meant business. How cool is that to get a child’s attention! But, first his father put him to the test to make sure he was the real Timmy and not some imitation Timmy that was sleeping in his bed. Timmy thought this was funny but took the questions very seriously as his father wanted asked him for his driver’s license, his age and to ask his wife. Timmy finally told his father to tell him all he knows about monsters and what he learned when he was five. So, his father told him the source of his knowledge was his grandfather the smartest person in the world who always had the right answers. But, that’s not all. You see: They have a special family secret that only Timmy and his family know about how to deal with monsters, have to learn all about them and how to find out whether they are under your bed and dangerous. After checking with the only person, his grandfather about whether he learned anything knew about monsters he revealed this to Timmy. His brave grandfather caught a wild monster and gave it to his father for Timmy to train and tame. How amazing is that! But, there is much much more to this great story.
Timmy’s Dad had something special that he gave Timmy to help him sleep. The family, you see has a special secret that only members of his family are privy to and are allowed to know. Timmy’s father gave him something that his grandfather sent him that would help him to sleep. But, if I tell you what it is that would ruin the fun of reading this great book for yourself and finding out just how Timmy learned that Monsters are not so bad if they know you want to be their friend.
Timmy’s father even told him the special poem on page 19 of the book about monsters and what kids think about them. That my dear friends you will have to read for yourself to learn what to do with your monsters if you find one and get scared. What is the family secret and how does his father solve his problem? Can’t tell you that. It’s a secret and I promised Timmy’s grandfather and Dad I would never tell.
The illustrations are really great and the story says it all. The colorful pictures with their warm tones make the reader feel safe, warm and cozy. The father’s way of dealing with this situation was great and the fact that his parents took the time to listen and help Timmy try and overcome his fear is really important. The authors bring to light many issues in this picture book. Kids have fears and the way parents deal with them and help them overcome them is really what helps them grow into happy young adults. Toni and Tim have shared their family secret with Timmy and now of course you the reader can parents all over the world can learn how to teach their children to not be afraid of shadows, monsters and things they think are under their bed. Added at the end of the story are two great pictures that kids can color. I won’t tell you what they are or I will give away the family secret. But, being a kid myself I am going to get some crayons, markers and pencils and color them myself. I really hope that they bring Timmy back and his surprise new friend for some real adventures. Thank you Toni and Tim for sending me this great book to read. I wish I had it when I was growing up and saw monsters under my bed. By the way I would love one of those surprises that Timmy got too.
Well-written, great story and fun for younger readers, bedtime story, nonreaders who can look at the pictures and make up their own story and for grownups that are still afraid of monsters. Thank you to Timmy’s grandfather for teaching him how to tame monsters.
Fran Lewis: reviewer : This book gets FIVE FRIENDLY MONSTERS