Baby Bedtime – the newest bedtime story from Mem Fox

Do you have special bedtime routines with your kids? With my youngest two, the routine involves tucking their blankets in around their arms and saying “Goodnight my little burritos, I’ll see you in the morning.” The burrito bit started years ago when they were babies and were being swaddled. The ‘see you in the morning’ bit was something that my mum said to me when I was little. These things stay with you.

Which is why the latest book from Mem Fox, sweetly titled Baby Bedtime, is so enchanting. It’s a lullaby in a picture book;  a simple step-by-step to bedtime filled with love.

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Mem Fox wrote the story for her grandson, Theo. At the time he was tiny, and just a few weeks old. The result is text that every parent and grandparent can relate to –

“I could gobble up your toes.
I could rock you in my arms.
I could gaze at you all night.”

Baby Bedtime is illustrated by Emma Quay (whose previous titles include Rudie Nudie and Not a Cloud in the Sky). Quay’s illustrations have a particular style, yet each of her books has a distinguishable quality. In this case, the images are filled with texture – patterns of printed fabric and lace and the weave of hessian, linen and baskets, all serve to give the pages a certain cosiness and familiarity.

I love the simple sweetness of this book but I also love the call-and-response opportunity it provides – who can resist stroking silky hair and nibbling on little noses? I’m sure this is a book that many parents will know by heart before the year is out.

Baby Bedtime is suitable for newborns upwards. It can be found at all good bookstores and online directly from the publisher, Penguin.

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Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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