With the help of Dr. Mark West, our children’s literature expert based at the University of North Carolina, and Jessica Ewing, Literati’s CEO, we took a deep dive into the books our members decided to keep to find out why they liked them so much.
In Time for Bed, various animals find it hard to settle down to sleep. It boasts some really unique interactive qualities and we thought newborns and toddlers would love to pull the tabs to reveal solutions to all manner of creative bedtime quandaries. Unsurprisingly, 67% of our members decided to keep it.
At the Neo stage, Jessica says babies are developing something called “object permanence” – the notion that objects (both animate and inanimate) continue to exist even when they can’t be seen, heard, smelled, or touched. “That’s why babies delight so much in games of peekaboo,” Jessica says. “Lift the flap books play on this concept and it’s often a total surprise to them to find something underneath. Time for Bed takes ‘lift the flap’ to the next level; when you pull the tab, one image transforms into another and it can be like magic to babies. It’s a delight every time.”
Mark liked the fact that the narrative alternated between both fathers and mothers putting the children to bed (“usually in books it’s one parent or the other.”) Mark also thought the mechanics involved in the pull tabs was profound. “It’s one of the most clever uses of these devices I’ve seen. It’s not just a visual trick – it conveys what the book’s about; that there’s a kind of scariness and separation when kids go to bed. They can feel anxiety, and going to sleep – this surrendering to the unconscious – can be a little unnerving.”
‘The things you’re looking for in books like this is a sense of lessening that anxiety.’
“So one of the things you’re looking for in books like this is a sense of lessening that anxiety and this book does a good job of that. I always compare them to the classic Goodnight Moon and that book is such a perfect book for ritualizing the going-to-bed process and Time for Bed pays homage to that in a way.”