On the heels of a just-released national survey of parents that found that many young kids prefer bedtime stories that mom and dad make up themselves – beating out such classics as “Goodnight Moon” and “Green Eggs and Ham” – Carpenter Co. and www.sleepbetter.org are launching a national search for the best original bedtime tale.
And as a punctuation mark to the two-month-long national Bedtime Stories Project, stories will be selected to be read by Emmy-Award-winning actress Betty White. One story will be chosen for illustration by Bill Nelson, an internationally renowned illustrator (www.billnelsonstudios.com)
“A great bedtime story is an invitation to a good night’s sleep,” said Dan Schecter, vice president of sales and marketing, consumer products at Carpenter Co. and creator of SleepBetter.org. “The Bedtime Stories Project is designed not only to celebrate this age-old bedtime tradition but also to encourage people of all ages to establish nightly routines that lead to a good night’s sleep.”
SleepBetter.org is the online home of the Bedtime Stories Project
The SleepBetter.org Bedtime Stories Project web site will serve as the home of the program, where visitors will find tips on how to develop their own stories, a link for submitting their original tales and an icon where they can rate each story. There also is advice for parents on using bedtime stories to establish healthy sleep habits.
Hillary Homzie, children’s literature and storytelling expert, will lend her expertise to the Bedtime Stories Project by helping Americans develop their own original bedtime stories and bring new magic to their storytelling powers. Homzie is a visiting professor of Children’s Literature at Hollins University and author of many children’s books, including the “Alien Clones From Outer Space” series.
SleepBetter.org will feature a richly illustrated online book called “Sleepy Tales,” which contains short, funny, Nelson-illustrated takes on traditional fairytales with a tone reminiscent of Bulwinkle’s “Fractured Fairy Tales.” Many of the submitted stories will be posted in full or excerpted into the “Sleepy Tales” format.
National Survey Results: Kids Love the Stories Their Parents Make Up Best
The Bedtime Stories Project kicks off with the results of a national survey which found that America’s all-time favorite bedtime story is Margaret Wise Brown’s 1947 classic, “Goodnight Moon.” And yet, according to the poll, more than one in three parents of children age 7 and younger (35%) said that their kids preferred original stories made up just for them. Three in 10 (27%) of the surveyed parents also said their young kids have a television in their room, and those that do are half as likely to have bedtime stories read to them than children without TV’s.
The Nation’s Bedtime Storyteller. . .Betty White
Betty White will lend her charm, talent, and humor to the project by encouraging Americans to submit stories on Sleepbetter.org, at least one of which she will read at an event in Los Angeles May 26. At the close of the Bedtime Stories Project this summer, one story will be selected to receive a full illustration by Bill Nelson. The work of this internationally acclaimed illustrator has been featured on the covers of Newsweek, Time, The New York Times Book Review and Atlantic Monthly and his pieces are in the private collections of Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg and Bruce Willis, among others.
“Needless to say, we are delighted to have the dual talents of Betty White and Bill Nelson,” Schecter said. “And what a thrill it will be for one lucky mom, dad, or grandparent, to have his or her story read by one of America’s favorite and enduring actresses and then see it brought to life by one of the nation’s premier illustrators. Perhaps there is another American classic bedtime story just waiting to be discovered.”
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These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted March 11-14, 2010. For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 512 randomly selected parents of children under age 8 was interviewed by telephone via Ipsos’ U.S. Telephone Express omnibus. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±4.33 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Note, that for the question “What is the best all time bedtime story?” the question was open to all respondents, not just parents of children 7 and younger.