Renee Frances is a children’s book author who has written the first children’s picture book to incorporate ASMR, titled “Avery Sleeps More Readily: A whispered Good Night Fairy book.”
Incorporating ASMR triggers into the content and process of reading a child a bedtime story is a fantastic idea. Common ASMR triggers like personal attention, whispering, soft voices, light touch, picture tracing, gentle hand movements, page turning, and caring behaviors are typical stimuli that can occur when a parent or caretaker reads a child a bedtime story.
It is even possible that the origins of ASMR are rooted in most caring behaviors that happen between children and their caretakers. Renee’s book not only reminds readers about incorporating these soothing behaviors at bedtime, but provides optimal techniques and content to help readers lull a child to sleep with a bedtime story.
The illustrations are beautifully done by Romaine Tacey and I was provided the great honor of writing the foreword. The book will be available on Amazon on August 8, 2018, but in the meantime you can access a digital copy via the link at the end of this article.
In my interview with Renee she shares her inspiration for writing an ASMR-themed book for children, the aspect of the book which excites her the most, challenges she encountered while writing it, and feedback she has received so far.
Below are my questions in bold, Renee’s answers in italics, and links to her new book along with links to her other children’s books.
What inspired you to focus your recent children’s book on ASMR?
My Good Night Fairy book series employs the most effective psychological tools to help resolve several common sleep issues.
My first book, A Visit from the Good Night Fairy encourages the use of reinforcement (on a variable ratio schedule) help increase the likelihood that a toddler will stay in his own bed and sleep through the night. Rather than waking his parents throughout the night for reassurance, he will become motivated to self-soothe in order to receive a sign that the Good Night Fairy has paid him visit.
My second book, The Good Night Fairy Helps Via Change Her Dream introduces readers, who may be suffering from nightmares, to the phenomenon of lucid dreaming, which allows the dreamer to actively participate in his/her own dream. Lucid dreaming has been used therapeutically to help people who suffer with anxiety and even PTSD; this extremely empowering experience allows people to safely face and resolve their fears or other conflicts that they encounter in their dreams.
When planning my third book to help people – like my youngest daughter – who find it hard to relax, unwind, and fall asleep, I kept coming back to everything we know as ASMR triggers, for example, whispering vocals, soft touches, hair brushing/scalp massage. These types of stimuli seem to be universally relaxing. Once our brains relax we can begin to enter the first stages of the sleep cycle and, shortly thereafter, fall into a comfortable sleep.
I designed Avery Sleeps More Readily: A whispered Good Night Fairy book to include as many ASMR triggers and trigger ‘cues’ as possible. Readers will also enjoy several other relaxation techniques including guided visualizations and focused breathing.
How do you envision parents and children will use the book?
My greatest hope is that Avery Sleeps More Readily will become a family’s favorite bedtime story and a perfect platform for quiet, quality time for caregivers and children. My book can be an opportunity for families to connect and bond at the end of a long day.
Young ones will feel reassured and soothed with the gentle whispering voice of their grand/parent or caregiver, who will be happy to see their child(ren) drift off to sleep by the end of the book. I’d love to think that my book could facilitate the perfect end to any type of day.
What aspect of the book excites you the most?
I can thank Romaine Tacey, whose lovely watercolor paintings grace the pages of my other GNF books as well, for her gorgeous illustrations that complement the story line of this book so beautifully. Her calming watercolors invite the reader’s gaze to gently wander through each two-page spread.
The ‘trigger cues’ that are embedded in the text will prompt people to trace some of the illustrations with their fingertips, eliciting those oh-so-pleasurable ASMR tingles! The auditory stimulation of the rhythm, rhyme, and ASMR triggers, coupled with the rich, dreamy visuals create an experience that will delight and calm the senses.
Avery Sleeps More Readily is the third book in my Good Night Fairy book series, which I have always envisioned as a trilogy that will help families fall asleep (with Avery Sleeps More Readily: A whispered Good Night Fairy book), stay in bed (with A Visit from the Good Night Fairy) and have good dreams (with The Good Night Fairy Helps Via Change Her Dream). I’m particularly excited that the set is finally complete.
What challenges did you encounter writing the book?
The greatest challenge I faced when writing this book was, simply put, finding the right words. With the help of my editor, Mary Curk, I was able to convey the intended meaning while maintaining the rhythm of the verse and incorporating as many ASMR triggers as possible.
I was also challenged to write a story that will appeal to a younger audience. That being said, some of the words that I have used may not be familiar to everyone. However, one of the great benefits of reading is exposure to new vocabulary. Hopefully, audiences are not put-off by my choice of words; it would be wonderful if this book also expanded readers’ knowledge.
Have you received any feedback yet from “test” parents?
Avery Sleeps More Readily: A whispered Good Night Fairy book will be available on Amazon on August 8, 2018, however, I have received a lot of positive feedback from families who have reviewed the book.
One parent explained that her daughter generally falls asleep by the second-to-last verse; another parent told me that her son woke up as she was about to leave his room and asked for the book to be read to him again!
Here are a few other reviews that I have received so far:
“I love this latest book too! The story helps children understand the concept of sleep and relaxing appropriately before sleep and once they understand the concept, they are in control. Sleep is such a crucial aspect of their development… Your story and the illustrations help weave through a concept, which can sometimes be tricky to explain, with such ease. Bravo!” — Aparna R.
“Dom is my best reader so he loved all the interesting words. Chase liked the flow of it. He said it was like a song.” — Kari S.
“Beautiful illustrations complement a wonderful story.” — Jill L.
“We loved it! Can’t wait to buy the hard copy and be able to turn the pages!” — Randi L.
Explore these books from Renee Frances:
- Avery Sleeps More Readily: A whispered Good Night Fairy book
- More Good Night Fairy books
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This post brought to you by ASMR University. A site with the mission of increasing the awareness, understanding, and research of the Art and Science of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.