Good Night Giants

Good Night Giants

by Heinz Janisch, Helga Bansch
     
 

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Falling asleep can be challenging for a lot of kids. Thankfully, Good Night Giants is here to help! Playful and full of imagination, Good Night Giants invites kids to count giants as they drift off to slumber. Cognitive-behavioral methods are couched in a rhythmic, relaxing story and whimsical illustrations to help restless kids take control of their sleep. A note

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Overview

Falling asleep can be challenging for a lot of kids. Thankfully, Good Night Giants is here to help! Playful and full of imagination, Good Night Giants invites kids to count giants as they drift off to slumber. Cognitive-behavioral methods are couched in a rhythmic, relaxing story and whimsical illustrations to help restless kids take control of their sleep. A note to parents provides additional strategies and insight.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kristi Bernard
Do your children count sheep before they go to sleep? What about giants? Yes, that's right—Giants. One little boy has trouble getting to sleep at night. Sleep doesn't always come to you unless you learn to relax and rest. This little guy likes to play hide-and-go-seek with his giants. This wonderful rhyming and counting book has little readers counting up to six and back down to one. The illustrations show giants in long johns, giants with roses and also giants in the tub. At the end of the book are some very special notes to help parents build a bedtime routine with their child. Transition times are very important in helping a child prepare for sleep. Parents will get tips on do's and don'ts in discussing sleep and what you can do to get a sleepless child into a rhythm. There is also a bedtime song for parents and kids to sing together. This is a "Fears and Anxieties/Life Skills" book. Reviewer: Kristi Bernard
School Library Journal
PreS-K—In a story from Austria, a young narrator relaxes for bed by finding and counting giants. Starting with two walking on stilts, he counts up to six then back to two. The text seems to have lost something in translation. While some lines have a set rhythm and rhyme ("I look near, I look far./I look up, I look down./I find all my giants, those thirty-four clowns!"), others do not scan well: "When I go off to bed,/I don't look for sheep, but instead/I look for giants all over town." Each group of giants is given a collage spread. Although there are some funny details in the backgrounds, the creatures themselves are grotesque and sometimes inappropriately pictured. One of the four giants in the bathtub balances a martini glass on his bare bottom. With the wealth of bedtime books available, this is one to skip.—Laura Stanfield, Campbell County Public Library, Ft. Thomas, KY
Publishers Weekly
Avoiding the pedantic tone that can appear in books that explicitly address childhood anxieties, Janisch and Bansch tackle sleeplessness with bustling text and hoppy illustrations reminiscent of quirky European theater performance. At bedtime, when it's time to settle down and relax, a pajama-clad child doesn't count sheep, but giants instead—34 of them. Bansch's (I Want a Dog!) pencil and paint spreads show the giants in a series of wonderfully surreal situations: "Six giants under the piano," one spread reads (one giant is dressed in a three-piece suit and gloves; another smiles at a diminutive cat). "Four giants in the bathtub," reads another (one giant wears only flippers, and has a cocktail glass balanced on his ample rump). Originally published in Germany, Janisch's (Noah's Ark) work isn't always well-served by the weak translation ("I look up, I look down./ I find all of my giants, those thirty-four clowns!"), but "The Giant's Song," which concludes the story, provides a cadenced, kid-friendly go-to-sleep technique: "Wiggle out your energy/ to get ready to sleep./ Put happy thoughts in your head/ and peace in your feet." Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews

This odd compendium of story, song lyrics and advice to parents misses the mark as a prescription for sweet dreams.

The beginning and ending scenes focus on a little boy who is having difficulty getting to sleep. He concentrates on counting imaginary giants as a way to relax, enumerating groups of different giants from a pair up to six and then back down to another pair of huge creatures, shown with just their feet sticking out from a red blanket. The rhyming text in these sequences is quite sing-song and doesn't scan well, possibly as a result of having been translated from the original German. The giants themselves have an eerie, nightmarish quality in the illustrations, which are done in a loose, cartoonlike style in watercolor and pencil. The activities of the giants are nonsensical, as in a dream, showing them on rooftops or coming out of a huge watering can. The words to a song are also provided, urging "happy thoughts" and repeated deep breathing, though there is no music included, and the words don't readily transfer to a familiar melody. Two pages of advice to parents on getting children to sleep finish it off.

Strange giants, sing-song rhymes and generic psychological advice don't add up to a soothing bedtime read. (Picture book. 3-5)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781433809514
Publisher:
American Psychological Association
Publication date:
03/15/2011
Pages:
28
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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