Justine Adams (author) and Camille Manley (illustrator)
Affirm press: 2021
Reviewed by Viv Young
Goodnight Toes is a bedtime book and wind-down routine all rolled into one that will help young listeners focus on each part of their body and relax it, ready for sleep.
This sweet bedtime book is a great tool for parents wishing to help their kids sleep and to start teaching them some good mental health techniques, such as gratefulness and body positivity in an age-appropriate way. The focus on relaxing each part of their body by thinking about its usefulness during the day is a thoughtful and positive way to encourage children to think of the functionality of bodies and the way they help us play and learn all day long. The tone of the book is also loving. The parent who narrates the wind-down routine begins and ends with a reassuring statement about love and safety that is useful for caregivers looking for books that emphasise connection.
The artwork for Goodnight Toes, which focuses on a mum and her daughter, begins and ends in bed at night-time. As the relaxation routine starts the mum encourages the girl to thank her toes for the wiggling, her feet for stomping etc. while the images recall their day at the beach together. Although the illustrations switch from day to night, the day beach scenes are full of deep colours and tranquil natural environments, mirroring the relaxing tone of the book as a whole.