Why the Books
A note to parents, grandparents, teachers and other grownups from the author:
The Sleep Pony books are not typical of today's children's books. They are not meant to be "consumed whole" the first time. Most little ones will want an abbreviation of the words at first. Many will just want to look at the pictures. For others the cadence and rhythm of your reading will be comforting long before the meaning of the words slowly unfolds. These books are designed to be read many times by many ages. Once the ponies come without the book, they can remain a comfort for a lifetime. And then, my mother and I hope, their legend will be passed on to the next generation....
There are a million reasons why I wrote The Sleep Ponies and Sleep Pony Dreams. There is one reason I wrote them the way I did. I deliberately created the slow pace, the challenging poetic form, and the layers of sensory experience to address concerns about overstimulation in today's high tech, high intensity, and just-plain-busy world. The books require the reader to slow down. They teach patience. They reward repeated readings with deeper understanding. As a nurse, mother, and children's art teacher, I have had first hand experience with the intensity of stimuli and experiences to which children are exposed. Most children's entertainment and literature today gains a child's attention by "outshouting" this background "noise" with bigger, smarter, faster, louder, brighter, quirkier, funnier, edgier,.....fast-paced, extroverted art for our fast-paced, extroverted society.
While this is fine and often produces fantastic works, there is the other quieter side of all of us. From smaller, quieter, slower, softer comes the antidote to stress, which is relaxation.; We adults know how to imagine the warm sand beach and ocean waves that lull us. We know how to fix ourselves a special cup of tea, or "count sheep". My mother recognized that children need the same comforts and refuge from the storms of everyday life. Her answers for me were Sleep Ponies and their land of peace, beauty and kindness. The capacity to see, feel, hear and envelop beauty is such an immensely healing and empowering gift. The Sleep Pony books are both an introduction to and a celebration of that gift.
"A child's mind is like a growing castle full of dreams, experiences and knowledge. This castle provides fuel for his future, comfort for his heart and a great treasury of story ideas for today. It is my delight to encourage the discovery, expansion and decorating of that castle."