Cerrie Burnell: 'Bath, Book, Bed is a great way to get calm and snuggly!'

Published on: 10 April 2018 Author: Cerrie Burnell

Former CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell - whose lovely story Fairy Magic is on our Best Bedtime Books list - tells us how the Bath, Book, Bed routine has worked for her and her daughter.

Cerrie Burnell and her book Fairy Magic

For me, Bath, Book, Bed was – and is - a lovely way to keep a gentle, but minimal routine - no matter where we are or what adventures we've had. I love that it gives both my daughter and me a sense of punctuation to the end of the day. It's a way to encourage settling down and getting cosy... even if you have a child who doesn't want to sleep!

My daughter never wanted to sleep and thought that when the moon came out it was time for dancing!

Reading her a story didn't make her sleepy, but it put in place a system that we still use today. I found putting lavender oil in her bath was very soothing, and reading books together that inspired discussion was a nice way to spend special moments together. The thing I've always loved about reading out loud to children, be it at bedtime or in the middle of the day, is that it teaches them new words and their vocabulary naturally grows.

Some of our favourite books when my daughter was little were the Charlie and Lola books by Lauren Child. At the age of three, she would play act reading them back to me by narrating the first line, which she'd learnt by heart: 'I have this little sister Lola. She is small and very funny.' We particularly loved the character of Lotta, and always re-read the stories in which she appeared.

Charlie and Lola; My Two Grannies

The Girl with the Bird's-nest Hair by Sarah Dyer was another favourite, as we loved spotting all the birds on each page. And Floella Benjamin's My Two Grannies as well - the two spirited grannies were brilliant.

Establishing bedtime as a calm, device-free time where we read together has been vital for a happy night's sleep. My daughter is now old enough to read independently, which has been the most joyful thing to see.

And on those nights when she can't sleep, reading in bed is a great way to stay calm and snuggly.

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Fairy Magic

Author: Cerrie Burnell Illustrator: Laura Ellen Anderson

Isabelle has discovered a fairy called Summer-Blue in a hidden magical world at the bottom of her garden... But will she be able to convince her brothers and sisters? A charming story about fairies, the changing seasons and a little girl who is deaf.

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