warm and funny bedtime story where it’s the parents who won’t go to sleep. A perfect follow-up picture book to No One Likes a Fart by the inimitable Zoë Foster Blake. Back to Sleep is a reflection of Zoë Foster Blake’s much-loved brand and profile, told with authenticity and humor born of experience. Poor Finn is looking forward to drifting off to sleep in his cozy warm bed when Mummy appears wanting a drink. Finn resettles her and has just fallen asleep when he’s woken again . . . this time by Daddy, who’s had a bad dream. And so it goes. Just when Finn has one parent back to sleep, the other wakes up! When will these two sleep through the night? A clever, playful, laugh-out-loud story that celebrates the ups and downs of family life. Kids and parents will enjoy sharing this gorgeous bedtime story.
Back to Sleep by Zoe Foster Blake
Finn heard a noise at his bedroom door. His eyes flicked open in the dark. A little voice piped up, “I need a drink.”
“Come over here,” Finn whispered. Mummy walked over and stood next to his bed. “I’m thirsty,” she said, far too loudly.”Where’s your drink bottle?” Finn asked, still whispering.”It fell down the side of my bed, and I can’t reach it.”Finn sighed, “Come on, I’ll get it for you.”Finn threw his legs over the edge of his bed and plopped down to the carpet. Walking very carefully so as not to tread on the enormous space station he built, he took Mummy by the hand and back to her room.
“Come on, back to sleep,” he said, as Mummy climbed into bed and pulled up her doona. Finn reached down and grabbed her drink bottle from the floor.Mummy snatched it from him and gulped greedily. “Ahhhhhhh,” she said noisily. “That’s better.” She flopped back down onto her pillow, grinning and wiping her mouth.
“You’ve got a big day at work tomorrow,” said Finn. “Go to sleep.” He kissed her on the forehead before heading back to his room.
Finn had just fallen back to sleep when he heard a voice next to his bed, “I had a bad dream.” Daddy was standing in his undies, peering down at Finn’s face.”Oh, buddy, I’m sorry.” Finn sat up and pulled Daddy in for a cuddle.”Can I sleep with you?” said Daddy.” Come on then, jump in,” said Finn, wiggling over as far as he could to make room for Daddy. Daddy climbed in and lay down, before sitting back up. “I forgot my phone!” You don’t need it in bed,” said Finn, eyes feeling heavy. “Yeah, I do. It’s my alarm,” said Daddy.”Watchoutforthe–“
“Arrrrgh!” cried Daddy, as he stepped on a certain space station.
Oh, no. That hurts.
“Shhhh, you’ll wake Clem!” hissed Finn. He looked over at his baby sister’s cot before leaping out of bed, grabbing Daddy’s hand and leading him out into the hallway.
“But my foot hurts!” said Daddy.”Shhhh!” Finn hushed. “You’ll be okay. We don’t want to wake Clem, do we? You know what happens when she wakes up.””You don’t even care about my foot.”Finn wiped a tear from Daddy’s cheek. “Course I do. Now, how about I take you back to bed and we have a warm up? That sound good?””Can you carry me?” said Dad.”We’re getting a bit big for that now, mate. Come on, back to your room.””Please?” said Daddy.Finn sighed, “Okay. Come on.”
Daddy hobbled over to his side of the bed, snatched his phone and dived under the covers. Finn shuffled in beside him as best as he could.
“Mummy’s taking all the doona,” whined Daddy, yanking it off her.
“Oi! Wait! Let me do it,” said Finn, spreading it across them evenly.
Finn felt Daddy’s breathing even out and began to carefully sneak away.
“Can you give me a back scratch?” Daddy whispered, just as Finn reached the door.
“Oh, for goodness’ sake!” said Finn. “Go back to sleep.”
“I can’t fall asleep without a back scratch.”
“Fine, but then you have to go to sleep,” said Finn. He got back into bed and scratched Daddy’s hairy back in big, slow circles.
“When will these two sleep through the night?” Finn muttered.
When his parents were both finally asleep, Finn padded back to his room, trying not to think about his broken space station. He fell into bed and straight to sleep.
In what felt like five seconds’ time, someone was at his bed.
“My bed is all wet,” sobbed Mummy. “And so are my jammies.”
Dear. “Come here. It’s okay. Let’s clean you up,” said Finn, giving her a kiss on the forehead.
I should never have let her keep that drink bottle in bed, he thought.
They walked back to Mum and Dad’s bedroom. Finn got Mummy some fresh PJs and laid out a sleeping bag on her side of the bed.
“Here, jump in. It’ll be fun…like you’re a caterpillar,” said Finn, half-asleep.
“I don’t want to. I want my sheets,” said Mummy.
“Shhhh! I just got Daddy back to sleep. I don’t want him waking up. In. Now. Off you go. Back to sleep.”
Mummy huffed and reluctantly got into the sleeping bag. Finn zipped her up.
“Can you lie with me till I fall asleep?” she said.
Finn took a deep breath. He could never say no to that. She wouldn’t be forty forever. He needed to make the most of these precious years.
“Squish over,” he said, doing his best to fit in the three centimetres left on the bed.
Later, Finn woke up, cold and confused, and shuffled back to his room. He crept in quietly, careful not to wake Clem, and curled up in his own cozy bed. Ahh, finally, back to sleep.
He closed his eyes, ignoring the light creeping in under the blind, signaling breakfast, school and many hours of being unasleep. Just one hour of sleep. That’s all he needed.
A little snuffle came from the cot.
Then a thump. Then a whimper.
Back to Sleep Book Read Aloud YouTube Video
So what conversation will you have with your child after reading this book?
Some questions you might like to ask are:
Why is she thirsty?
Her bottle fell down the side of her bed.
What said the Dady on her bed?
But my foot hurts.
Mummy Taking what?
Mummy’s taking all the doona.
What other conversations or questions might you add? Please leave a comment below.
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