A Night Night Prayer

   A Night Night Prayer, written by Amy Parker and illustrated by Marijan Ramljak, is by far the most frequented and most relaxing book we own.  I picked up a copy four years ago in our church's bookstore and we haven't put it down since.  At the time, Little Girl had just entered our lives and, in turn, had just begun to reveal God's miracles.  I had been searching for a board book which presented engaging artwork, a delicate verse, and an introduction to bedtime prayers.  I started reading this book to Little Girl when she was only three months old and she's still interested in it now as I read it to my two-year-old Baby Girl.  This was our first Blueberry Book before I began blogging and would be a perfect "first" in your baby's library.

The Story

  A Night Night Prayer soothes our spirits and stimulates little minds.  Amy and Marijan have blessed me with so many favorite moments and a few rare "firsts".  It was the first book I read to my first born on a regular basis.  Though I never got much of a reaction those first few months at bedtime, I kept reading it to Little Girl night after night.  It didn't matter that she wasn't "oohing" and "aweing" yet because I liked the book.  I guess, in the beginning, I was reading it to myself.  Then it became a lifesaver.  Just as she became mobile and thus began the bedtime avoidance plight night after night, I would insert A Night Night Prayer into the fray.  Moments after opening the book and reading the first page, I would witness a calm wind fall over her demeanor. 

   One ordinary night, I exhaustedly slumped into the glider, swooped her up and began reading the usual three bedtime stories.  When I arrived at A Night Night Prayer and began reading, I heard Little Girl whisper, "Shh," for the first time.  It was exhilarating to hear such a tender sound come from my child.  I thought to myself, "I could really get used to this bedtime story ritual." And I did.

  Just a few years later, I was reading it to my youngest, Baby Girl.  I was resisting the urge to rush the story and scurry off to the couch to retrieve the latest Real Housewives episode from the DVR.  Instead, I focused on my time with her and softened my voice in her ear.  Each page begins with a, "Shh," and finishes with, "Night night".  I added a little wave each time we wished another creature a good night.  Not a minute later, Baby Girl lifted her marshmallow arm, held her palm up to face the book, and slowly hinged her itty-bitties ninety degrees.  Like an old screen door, waywardly springing open and then closing a bit- back and forth, back and forth- until it suddenly and purposefully shuts.  After she snapped her fingertips down to meet her palm again, and rested her hand on my leg, she glanced up at me grinning and twinkling with pride.  It was the first time she waved at anyone.  And I was there.

    A Night Night Prayer also served as the first time anyone in our family prayed together.  My husband and I both had been far from any spiritual path for many years.  Of course, witnessing the miracle of our first, and then second, child brought us quite a bit closer to a curiosity of faith.  Regardless of your level of faith, Amy and Marijan's work focuses on our Creator and all we have to be grateful for in this world.  It is a great reminder for us all.

The Storytellers

   Every page is an exploration of one of God's wonders- the sun, the birds, the trees, the flowers, even puppies, kittens, mommies and daddies.    The seamless blend of Amy Parker's tender poetry and Marijan Ramljak's gentle artwork makes my children soften their voices and exhale, releasing all the energy from the day- if only for a moment.  The first page instantly sets the mood with its, "Shh, it's time for sleeping, for snuggling in so tight.  But first I say my night night prayer, and to God's world, 'Good night'," and its unassuming teddy tucked in the corner.  Marijan certainly learned a thing or two while he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, the "cultural center of Croatia" and, therefore, perfectly illustrated this bedtime story with such genuine and soothing pastel imagery.

   I would never trade those firsts moments that forever fused us together as a family for anything.  And, according to this this interview from Christina Jonas Kennedy, that's exactly what Amy loves most about her job:

Christina Jonas Kennedy: What is the most satisfying aspect of being a published author?

Amy Parker: Bestseller lists are, of course, confirmation that the books are selling and readers are finding what they want in the books. But the most satisfying aspect is that one mother who said, “Night night, God were my son’s first words.” Hearing again and again that children all over are internalizing these words is exactly why I do what I do."
Christina Jonas Kennedy: What was the first book that you wrote? How did you come up with the chosen topic for your first book? Did you know that the chosen topic was what you wanted to write about or was the chosen topic one of many that you were pondering?
Amy Parker: The first book I authored was A Night Night Prayer. I was trying against all wills to get my three-year-old to sleep, and the idea came to me that the trees, the birds, the sun all need their rest to be their best. I simply explained that to him on paper in a soft, rhyming verse. God took care of the rest."

The Review

   A Night Night Prayer was chosen as the Mom's Choice Award Gold Recipient and easily earned a 5 out of 5 blueberries from my girls.  It is recommended for ages 2-8, but I know from experience you can start reading this to your new babies upon arrival. You can purchase the book here.  And if you'd like ideas for an accompanying activity, click here to create your own prayer or here or here to get crafty and make a prayer pail out of popsicle sticks.  Now, I better hurry to bed because the "sun's first ray of light" is fast approaching.


  1. I finally ordered this book based on your review - thanks for the suggestion! I'm sure we'll enjoy it too. I like the repeated "night night" concept. :)

    1. Yay! Thanks for trusting me. :) I know y'all will love it!! Here's to easier bedtimes!