City Nights by Tidepool Publishing is a wildly innovative and original interactive book. View stunningly creative collages, within the pages of a bedtime story, set to an urban beat that helps little one’s tuck in for a time to sleep. All the features that we have come to love about digital books, such as highlighted text and the options of “Read to Me” or “Read by Myself” are included. Options to turn off the sound or music are also available to enable teachers or parents to adjust to a specific child’s needs or to read the book aloud.
As a little boy sets off to bed, he begins to wind down by looking out the window. The familiar sights and sounds of the city slowly transition from the bustling activity of the day to the muted, but different, sounds of night. Gulls cry out, children leave the park, and people go by the apartment in a rhythmic clickety-clack and chit, chit, chat. We see the boy quietly check off his list, and then drift off to sleep. The sights and sounds on repeated readings present their own unique routine for children, and this then quickly becomes their checklist for sleep much in the way of counting sheep.
What really sets this book apart is the artwork and narration. Collages of paper, ink, and fabric intermix in a dream-like surrealistic landscape. Interactive features are minimal to help turn off busy minds and the story can be simply read while little one’s tuck in for the night. For example, in the park as the children leave, they float off to home in a bubble. As each bubble floats off the page, it gives a visual representation, or model of, the ability to let go of the day’s activities. The exquisite narration is well modulated and the rhyming text slows into a soothing beat. It’s almost, but not quite, a whisper. And, in a whisper and a fade-to-black is a Good Night to all.
City Nights, will soon become a classic and beloved night time story. Its beautifully rendered pages and rhythmic narration will help set the tone for letting go of the day for even the most resistant sleepers. The book conveys contentment for a day well spent as well as a promise of tomorrow.
About the Author
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years, and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play everyday; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.