It’s a rare children’s book that not only manages to put a trying situation into perspective for both children as well as parents, leaving everyone nodding in recognition and giving them something to take away from it, but that is also written so well that both camps enjoy reading it. But that’s exactly what you’ll get from the Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney.
Llama Llama Red Pajama, for instance, tackles a frustratingly familiar nightly scenario in many households with a young toddler who refuses to fall asleep without the company of one or both parents, resulting in said parent(s) spending anywhere from half an hour to two hours just sitting in the dark – either doing nothing or surreptitiously fiddling with a smartphone or iPad — or, most commonly, inevitably falling asleep alongside the child whilst waiting.
Using simple, catchy rhymes and vivid illustrations, the author brilliantly dissects what happens after mama llama tucks baby llama into bed and leaves the room — particularly when baby llama decides to ask for some water and mama llama seems to take a long time to return. So, on the one hand, we see how baby llama’s feelings and thoughts evolve as his patience begins to runs thin from waiting; while on the other hand, we also see mama llama trying her best to get some chores done — all very real and relatable.
A lot of the time, emotions run high due to miscommunication and a seeming lack of understanding. Thus, by giving a balanced perspective from each party’s point of view — skewed slightly in favour of the parents this time for a learning objective — it encourages both parties to be more empathetic, patient and understanding towards each other (even if it probably will not magically make the kids willingly fall asleep on their own overnight).
Here’s a catchy video of the Llama Llama Red Pajama song: