Happy Monday! Today is my stop on the Eoin McLaughlin blog tour and I have a very special post from Eoin himself talking to us about all things bed time stories!
This Book Is Not A Bedtime Story
“This book is NOT a bedtime story. It’s scary, strange and rather gory. Bedtime stories make you sleepy. This book won’t. It’s much too CREEPY. Except it isn’t… this book is told by a group of monsters who think they’re very scary, but in fact they’re not – they’re cute and cuddly. They try their hardest to scare you – in a haunted house, creepy wood, ghostly ship and darkest dark, but each time they fail! The problem is, these monsters aren’t at all spooky. They’re a bit silly, actually. And a bit cuddly. In fact, they share the insecurities and worries of us humans and all they want is a cosy, snoozy good night’s sleep.”
There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of putting a child to sleep. The calm. The silence. The unmistakable sense of victory. They tried to outwit you, they tried to outrun you, but at long last, you have defeated them.
At first, it seemed as though they held all the cards, as they shrieked and removed their nappy and demanded their tenth glass of water. But look. Now there they lie. So peaceful. So serene. So asleep. You have vanquished them. So go forth, load that new mindless Netflix estate agent thing and rejoice. Boil a Cup-a-soup. Enjoy the 30 minutes before your own bedtime.
To achieve bedtime success, they say that it’s good to stick to a routine. We have a routine in our house. We stick to it. The issue is that our routine consists of roughly six million individual actions. Each must be meticulously observed. From applying nappy cream to a rabbit, to giving a tractor a shower, to pretending to be a Polynesian raft. Like all parents I speak to, completing the bedtime routine is a Herculean challenge.
So, I’ve written a book about it. I actually wrote This Book is NOT a Bedtime Story about eight years ago. It was my first attempt at a children’s book. My agent, James Catchpole, spotted it in his inbox, sent me some notes and so began my life as an author. James and I have since worked on many other books together and now the very first one, this one, is finally coming out.
The story is told by a little monster who doesn’t wish to go to sleep. Sound familiar? Despite looking quite fluffy and cute, the monster is desperate to prove his credentials as a terrifying beast. He wants to tell us a story that’s too scary for bedtime, but as the book unfolds one can’t help but get the feeling that the monster is actually getting quite sleepy. Is that a yawn in the haunted house? Is he rubbing his eyes on the ghost ship? Is that his whole monster gang snoring behind him?
The story tries to capture the paradox I see in my own child at bedtime. The more he protests that he’s not ready for bed, the more ready he is. And so, although the cover proclaims ‘This Book is NOT a Bedtime Story’, it is, most certainly, a bedtime story. A book to help all parents defeat their children at bedtime. For they must all be vanquished. They all must sleep.
This Book is NOT a Bedtime Story by Eoin McLaughlin, illustrated by Robert Starling, is published on 1st October, £6.99 paperback, by Pavilion Children’s Books.
A massive thank you to Eoin for this brilliant blog post. I know this is one I certainly can’t wait to read to children… if I ever have my own! I’ll be sharing this with family who have kids to enjoy it with!
You need to go grab a copy of this book… it’s so so good!