Barmy Bedtime Book

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This book is arranged as 64 short stories about a range of topics. Some are simple fun, others touch on more difficult issues, for example, fire and flood. These can be used to introduce more interesting discussions with older children. All of the stories have three places where there is a choice of three short phrases. As a parent you can either just choose the one you will read out or you can involve your child in the choice. Usually children will quickly become involved in the choice of phrases and so they will start to own the story.

The easiest way to explain how this works is with an example. Imagine yourself telling a story to your child. You pick at random story number ten.

Story Ten A rambling roving reporter chased after a shy and suspicious superstar. Wonderful show, he flattered. Can I tell you how good that was?

Look they have given us three choices, you say. Shall we say a [plum perfect performance], or shall we say a [triumph by top talent], or shall we say a [feat of fluent flair]. Lets pick a [plum perfect performance]. I'll read it again using that choice.

A rambling roving reporter chased after a shy and suspicious superstar. Wonderful show, he flattered. That was a plum perfect performance. Thank you, answered the shy and suspicious superstar. But you are not getting a story! You reporters are all alike. Let me tell you the kind of person you are?

Oh now we have to choose either a [horrible hideous hack], or a [ghastly grisly ghostwriter], or a [shallow scribbling scribe]. Do you want the last one? OK I'll read that.

Thank you, answered the shy and suspicious superstar. But you are not getting a story! You reporters are all alike. You are a shallow scribbling scribe. I am not like that, said the rambling roving reporter persuasively. I want to show you in a positive light. Can I tell you what type of story it will be?

Ah. Our choices now are a [page of praise and perfection], or a [hymn to harmony and happiness, or a [feature of fawning flattery].

You want the middle one? OK I'll read that.

I am not like that, said the rambling roving reporter persuasively. I want to show you in a positive light. I will write a story that is a hymn to harmony and happiness. The shy and suspicious superstar weakened as she needed some good publicity. The rambling roving reporter sensed an opportunity. What would you like me to cover?, he asked. The shy and suspicious superstar thought for a moment. Maybe something about my charity work, she suggested. There is a fundraiser tomorrow night. Maybe you could do a story about the money I will help raise. Absolutely, the rambling roving reporter agreed, though we will need a good photo for the front page. Maybe one of you with your new partner? The shy and suspicious superstar saw what was happening. I was correct that you are a shallow scribbling scribe, she said, before storming out.

Once your child has a good understanding of how these stories work there is a lot of useful development that can be done. For example, the stories use a lot of phrases that start with the same letter. If you want to develop your child's wordpower then you can reward them every time they introduce a similar three word phrase into their everyday conversation. WARNING. You may regret doing this.

Anyway, please enjoy the book. We hope it provides you with hours of happy interaction with your child.

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Barmy Bedtime Book Story 64: COVID-19 STORY (coronavirus story)

- published first 18th March 2020

Story 64. The very virulent virus and the top technology technician

A very virulent virus looked up at a top technology technician, and said, 'I will destroy your world. Let me tell you what you will soon see! Soon you will see what I can do, including a '

[A.] hopping from hand to hand, passing from person to person, spreading from sea to sea

'You are certainly very scary', said the top technology technician, 'but your time is nearly over. Shall I tell you about the things we are developing? We are fast developing clever responses, not least a '

[B.] dexterous dynamic diagnosis, targeted tough treatment, powerful professional prevention

'I do not believe you', said the very virulent virus. 'I have been doing this for thousands of years. Can I tell you what always follows my passing? After I have passed through you will see'

[C.] devastation of despondent despair, civilisation crashing and collapsing, trial and testing tribulation

'Not for much longer', stated the top technology technician confidently. 'We can already recognise your coming within a few weeks and make a treatment in a few months. Very soon, we will be able to do both within hours. Then, your time will have passed.'

'Strange then', said the very virulent virus, 'that I seem to be still having such success! How do you explain that?'

'You have not been around for a while', explained the top technology technician. 'People forgot quite how terrifying you are! Now that you reminded them though, your end is nigh.'

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