When our children were little we read them any number of great books, some of which I had read when I was small (yes, the Magic Faraway Tree was still magical after all those years). In fact some of them we read so many times we could recite them by heart, which made early morning story time much easier because we just lay in bed and took it in turns to say the words while the offspring in question did all the manual labour and turned the pages.
Of these rote-learned stories the one I was always happy to perform (and I use the word advisedly) was “Peace At Last”. Oh the noises you could make! There were, among others, snoring Mrs Bear, Baby Bear with his aeroplane (nyaow, nyaow), the ticking clock, the humming fridge, the dripping tap, the singing birds, the snuffling hedgehog, and in a grand finale the morning sun (SHINE, SHINE!) followed by the alarm clock (BRRRINGGG!).
It was not a restful story, as you can see; that was the point of it after all. However, without fail it was the one guaranteed to end in hysterical giggles and endless encores. It was more than a book, it was an entire soundtrack, a performance showcase for the versatile human vocal system, an experiential overture. It was a book to be enjoyed together, in a big cuddle, noisily and happily.
Alice once said, “What is the use of a book without pictures?”
We say, “What is the use of a book without sound effects?”
Goodnight. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.