Sleep, Merel, Sleep by Silke Stein

Every chapter title begins with a streak of stardust flying across the top left hand corner of the page suggesting all things magical to come. The book cover is fascinating and Steine’s crative abilities as a graphic designer are well at display.

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Title: Sleep, Merel, Sleep

Author: Silke Stein

Publisher: Caper Books

Date of Publication: 7 June 2018

Rating: 4/5

merel

Falling asleep can be a tiresome process for some and Merel is trying hard to ace it. Sleep is leaning against the drawers and cannot wait for his chance to tug at the violin strings to spin a beautiful melody. But Merel is not the one who’s not willing to cooperate. Sleep knows too well how to put her to bed.  Merel’s agony makes her punch the headboard and throw around her plush toys in anger. Will she put herself to sleep eventually or will Sleep come to the assistance?

While a raging girl and her insomniac habits may seem to be a cliched story, Sleep, Merel, Sleep is an innovative children’s bedtime book with a set of really dynamic characters. Peeking into her parents’ room, she finds them sleeping peacefully as does her little brother. The story describes Merel’s attempts at finding something interesting to do at night while making sure that activity puts her to sleep as well. It is a challenging idea to find out which of the tasks will be best. However, she has an important reason behind not being able to fall asleep. She is having nightmares that horrify her.

Finding an address in an old mangled telephone directory, she ventures out into the night to look for the location. Adventure begins soon after. She is escorted to what seems to be a motel and is then asked to rent room number 8. Fun gets funnier though Merel is frightened out of her wits, the reader can’t wait to learn more of what is to happen next. Strange characters meet and greet her like she’s the guest of honor. Their wait is finally over as they have the privilege of her company.

Meeting Lolippo takes the story to a whole new level as the pace catches on. Things happen quite rapidly after that. They pass by orchards, skip and jump as they start to become good friends. The characters are described well with strange features. The characters impart important life lessons as the adventures take her places that allow her to become a better person. This quirky journeying will remain with her and the readers as time passes by and the book nears its dreaded end. Merel’s agony after all is a result of feeling neglected and left out upon the arrival of a new baby at home. As Steine’s imagination runs wild, the abilities of fiction know no bounds.

At times there might seem to be resemblances in terms of the characters or incidents to Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland.  However, the situations and the functions of the characters are very different. Every chapter title begins with a streak of stardust flying across the top left hand corner of the page suggesting all things magical to come. The book cover is fascinating and Steine’s creative abilities as a graphic designer are well at display. The book is easy to read, light hearted and the fun filled language makes the book an interesting read for both young and old. However, it is more suitable for children of ages 8 who can read on their own at length. From the author of Trina Bell’s Humming Summer is yet another beautiful children’s book. Who knew trying to fall asleep can take one on such amazing night time escapades?

Cute is an understatement. So cute.

Ten Sheep to Sleep by Nidhi Kamra

Sammy Jo is one such restless toddler struggling to fall asleep. She also relies on the trick of counting things in the air until she drowses off. But this time something isn’t going right. Sammy Jo’s imaginary sheep have surrounded her bedside. They’re far more in number than the ten she’d counted before. Surprised and excited after seeing them, Sammy Jo cannot fall asleep anymore.

Title: Ten Sheep to Sleep

Author: Nidhi Kamra

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing

Date of Publication: 30 June 2017

Rating: 5/5

Baa baa pink sheep.

Putting a child to sleep is a strenuous task especially if the little one is a highly imaginative kid. Every parent is familiar with these challenges. Hence, the importance of bed time stories and lullabies. But that’s what age old proven tricks are for. Counting cows in the air is one of them.

Sammy Jo is one such restless toddler struggling to fall asleep. She also relies on the trick of counting things in the air until she drowses off. But this time something isn’t going right. Sammy Jo’s imaginary sheep have surrounded her bedside. They’re far more in number than the ten she’d counted before. Surprised and excited after seeing them, Sammy Jo cannot fall asleep anymore.

Illustrated brilliantly by the very talented Eugene Ruble, the sheep mostly come in various shades of striped pink. They usually zip by on their skateboards as they head towards Dreamland. They are woolly, jolly and love Sammy Jo. Tonight they’ve overcrowded her bedside and are accompanied by ten more polka dotted sheep. They introduce themselves as next door neighbour Mary’s sheep who has abandoned them. They’re upset, crying and have no place to go. Sammy Jo decides to help. But her brother and parents don’t need them either. They count other things to sleep.

Sammy Jo desperately needs to find a solution before the sheep jump on her bed, hide in her closet and tear at her books. It’s then that an idea hits her. She asks the sheep to line up in pairs so that she can count them by twos. So clever, Sammy Jo!

Though aimed at kids aged 5-8, this picture book can be offered to kids who have not yet begun reading. The hand drawn sketches on the page margins will definitely arouse the interest of all kids. Mother of two, an engineer and author, Nidhi Kamra, weaves a delightful tale in the manner of a picture book with big bright illustrations and a tinge of kiddy humour that will leave parents and their little ones asking for more.

Guess what Sammy Jo’s brother and parents count to sleep? Read to find out.

Click the book cover to grab your copy. Happy Reading!

 

New Age: 2 Books In 1 – Enhance Your Life With “Astral Projection” & “Lucid Dreaming” (New Age Series) by Tabitha Zalot

These hypnotic like states and mental representations also find prevalence in Literature and Art famously seen in Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia. Scientific experiments to induce out of body experiences have not done enough to clarify the nature of these experiences. It is assumed that a fifth dimension is usually chosen that can be occupied by various entities or can be un-populated.

Title: New Age: 2 Books in 1- Enhance Your Life With “Astral Projection” & Lucid Dreaming (New Age Series)

Author: Tabitha Zalot

Publisher: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Date of Publication: 2 November 2017

Genre: Self-Help

Rating: 5/5

A near death or out of body experience is so intensely vivid that it cannot be physiologically explained. It is a mystery to the one who has and hasn’t experienced it. The existence of a spirit has long been debated but there exist numerous hypotheses and verdicts that sustain and confirm it. Astral projection consists of detaching the spiritual form from the bodily one. Is there anything more awe inspiring than the idea of implicit eternity?

The book begins by elaborating on the historical references of astral projection as seen in religious doctrines and cultures including those of ancient Egypt, Taoist practices and Hinduism. From Plato to Socrates, Pliny and Plutarch, dreams and experiences that correspond to astral travel have been extensively recorded. The astral plane is perceived as a middle light between Heaven and Earth, populated by angelic and demonic entities in philosophical systems such as Theosophy and Hermeticism. These hypnotic like states and mental representations also find prevalence in Literature and Art famously seen in Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia. Scientific experiments to induce out of body experiences have not done enough to clarify the nature of these experiences. It is assumed that a fifth dimension is usually chosen that can be occupied by various entities or can be un-populated. Astral projection, however, has been an important instrument in understanding the process of dying. Midway through the book comes the chapter on the sensorial signs and psychosomatic signs of a person experiencing the astral projection which is starkly different from a dream or a vision.

This forms the turning point of the book that moves into a step by step guide towards actually travelling the astral plane. The physical and mental preparations needed to be taken are mentioned concisely. The segment about Top 10 easiest and Most Effective Astral Travel Techniques is very interesting. The book states the many benefits of astral projection such as metaphysical awakening, enhanced imagination and extrasensory abilities, personal growth, time travel, liberation from the fear of death which the author claims provides complete self coordination. But can the astral projection also be dangerous? Zalot provides ample information about the pros and cons and the book is vividly illuminating about an aspect that is little understood despite several supplicants and claimants.

Have you ever had a dream that you wanted to re-dream? Coined as ‘lucid dreaming’ in 1913 by Frederick van Eeden, it refers to the action of immersing oneself in a dream while being aware of dreaming. A lucid dream presents itself like an alternate reality. It is much sharper than a normal dream which may feel pretty much a daze.

Zalot begins by making some controversial statements that lucid dreaming is completely voluntary and lucid dreamers employ reality checks. Lucidity requires practicing a clarity of mind. However, lucid dreaming and dream control are not the same things. Lucid dreaming can be a preparation for out of body experiences in which one can get away from the body and watch it from above. No matter how fantastical it sounds, the bigger question is why would anybody want to involve in it?

Zalot argues that creativity is let loose during the dreaming process through which one can transcend the barriers of consciousness and maybe even to visualise and fulfil unexplored pleasures. The book further highlights common means to induce lucid dreams with and without technology, drugs and supplements. Emotional and cognitive experiences comprise the apex of meaningful dreams. The book also provides some dream control methods that help in maintaining lucidity.

Now whether you are metaphysically inclined or just curious about the world of dreams this is a great book to indulge in some thought provoking escapism.

Click the book cover to grab your copy. Happy Reading!