A Month of Bedtime Stories
By Neil McFarlane
This is a book about YOU—you and all the things you don’t have, but know where to get. Through it all, you meet talking creatures, go to different dimensions, and travel through time. Sadly, in the end, you always forget.
This book—like some daring short stories—attempts to use the formidable ‘second person’ narrative. Luckily, it succeeds where many have failed, and with its light style it keeps things cheery and positive, perfect for its target audience: children.
One of the most overwhelming aspects is how the author keeps things inventive. There are thirty-one short stories—one for each night—and not one of them treads on similar topics or reruns the adventure. Where he came up with all the ideas is mind-boggling, and some of the best parts comes from the unpredictable protagonist—you!
“’I gave you that mark. It makes you an honorary bear…’ (said the bear.) You thought to yourself, I helped this bear and all he gave me was a dirty hand. ”
or the non-sequitars:
Johnny McBear raised his claws and roared again, then came forward to attack you.
“Noooo!” you cried, and you put your hands up like this. “Nooo! Don’t eat my pants!”
But, ultimately, as imaginative as it was, I found certain details in that made me give it four stars. One: certain areas get a little meta, which seems too mature for the kid readers it’s aiming for; and Two: being for younger ones, I understand why some jokes are aimed at the parents who may be reading it to their children, but no matter how well-described these weird worlds are, kids want to see pictures. Without them, this book may not fare so well.
This book is reminiscent of early Seuss in the ilk of ‘The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins,” rich with words, lacking in pictures. It covers all the stops of wacky kid stories, twisting everyday perceptions of where things come from and how things work. Nothing is ever as easy as it may seem. On top of all of that, you have to watch out for annoying cows—every animal is just another animal wearing a mask.
If you want to get a copy for yourself, click here.
If you want to find out more about this amazing author, check him out here.