Zaina does not like to sleep by herself, she wants her Mama to stay next to her. She makes one excuse after another to bring her Mom back into the room. Mama gently tries to reassure her by saying that sometimes our imagination plays tricks on us and turns ordinary everyday things into scary objects. “Sleep Zaina Sleep” will help children talk about their fears and worries. They will relate to Zaina because like her they may want their mother to stay with them. Children will laugh at Zaina’s fears of monsters when they find out that the “monsters” in her cupboard and under the bed are just her clothes and her teddy bear. Like Zaina in “Sleep Zaina Sleep” children manifest their worries and fears in nightmares which seem very real to them. This in turn makes them fear sleeping time. Mama sings a soothing song to Zaina about how amazing our dreams can be. They may show beautiful fun things in weird settings that will make us laugh like ice cream cones in the sky. At the same time our imagination sometimes makes us dream of strange and scary things like monsters in a forest. We are comforted when we know that our fantastic and scary dreams are but a figment of our imagination. Reading the story, children will marvel at the craziness of dreams and laugh at the flying ice cream cones and the mermaid sleeping in a bed on top of a wave. Children will realize that the scary dreams are just as impossible as the flying ice cream. The story “Sleep Zaina Sleep” can be utilized to help children talk about their happy dreams which may be the result of spending a happy time with family and friends. Happy dreams will tell us a lot about our children’s needs and aspirations. Parents should also encourage children to talk about their scary dreams which may be the result of sibling rivalry, jealousy, feelings of insecurity, shyness, anger etc. Carefully listening to our children’s dreams will tell us a lot about their worries, fears and aspirations.
Written by: Taghreed Najjar, Illustrated by: Jurg Obris