Title: Shadows in My Room & What's That Noise?: Bedtime Stories
Author: Linda Weaver Clark
Narrated By: Heidi Allred
Length: 18 minutes
In each of these stories, a mother helps her little girl understand her fears at night. "Shadows in My Room": Kayla sees shadows in her room that disturb her. Her mother answers all her questions about each shadow that she points to and helps her to calm down and go to sleep. "What's That Noise?": Amber hears noises that disturb her, such as the wind and thunder. Her mother teaches Amber to use her imagination by turning something fearful into something fun.
This was a very cute children's book. I liked the way that the mothers explained what the shadows were or what each of the noises were. In a way that would comfort children and make them less afraid and able to fall asleep. I liked the little touch at the end with the mom and dad in "What's That Noise?" The "I'm Not Sleepy" story was cute, as well. However, the mother "gently" said "I know, dear," quite a lot. Now maybe I'm just being picky, it is a children's book. A young child may not notice that at all.
Something I did have an issue with (and people are probably going to think it's feminist bull but whatever) is that this book very, very much falls into gender stereotypes. In the first two stories little girls are afraid of the shadows and the noises and they are thinking about their brothers and whether they would be afraid. Why is it only the little girls that are scared? A little boy could just as easily be scared, and that is perfectly okay. Same for "I'm Not Sleepy". It almost gave off the vibe that girls are naturally more obedient than boys - or expected to be. And the family stereotypes. In the first story it is unclear whether there is a dad/husband involved. But in the last two there are. Again, maybe me just being picky but the whole mom, dad and two kids thing is sort of a stereotype. And in the last one the boy climbs into bed with his mom and dad. Sweet and adorable but what about a single mom? Or, hey, a single dad? Okay, I'm through with my ranting that many people will write off as overzealous talk.
The performance was very good. I enjoyed the narration a lot. Heidi did a great job of distinguishing the voices from one another. My favorite was the voice of Kayla (although maybe I'm biased because I have a cousin named Kayla.) It was such a sweet, innocent, genuine voice. The relationships between the mothers and children were good, too. Very sweet. And even though it may have been expected to have both the mom and dad (although nice to see a couple staying together but whose to say there are never single parents or other guardians?), that scene where the son climbs into bed with them was very sweet. I do wish that the dads had a bigger part, though. It was good, though and I would give it 3 quills.