A Swedish behavioral psychologist and linguist is trying to take the pain out of bedtime with a new book that employes psychological techniques to verbally rock children to sleep. The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep is essentially sleeptime hypnosis for your kid who definitely does not share the rabbit’s common sense.
The 26-page book by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin is noteworthy for several reasons: it’s topping Amazon’s US and UK charts (ahead of heralded releases like Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman and Dr. Seuss’ What Pet Should I Get?), it’s the first self-published book to do so, and — most remarkably — it seems to actually work. The book includes basic instructions for parents — yawn a lot, emphasize italicized words, speak slowly in a relaxed tone, have children just listen rather than read along — and those parents have flooded the Amazon reviews with success stories of kids conking out long before Roger The Rabbit achieves his goal of doing the same.
The secret is making kids part of the story; they and Roger have the same sleepy objective as they meet characters like Uncle Yawn and the Heavy-Eyed Owl. Forssen Ehrlin says he spent 3 years precisely crafting the story so the sleep-inducing techniques would unfold in the correct order. The result has been a word of mouth phenomenon that’s been translated into 7 languages; a free e-book download is currently available in addition to paperback and audiobook versions.
It should be noted that not everyone thinks the book is such a big win. Writing in The Guardian, Imogen Russell Williams points out that the whole thing can be interpreted as a little creepy and even comes with a disclaimer warning against reading the book near anyone who’s driving a car. But if the book winds up putting parents to sleep along with their kids, is that such a bad thing? They’re already exhausted, anyway