Jun 16 2008
In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck is one of my favorite books of the summer. (Thanks Jim for emailing me and offering a review copy!)
For children ages four to eight, In a Blue Room is the story of a little girl named Alice. She is wide awake and insists on having a blue room before she can fall asleep. Her mama brings her flowers, tea, a quilt, and lullaby bells to help her sleep. While none of these things are blue, they help Alice get ready for bed. Then her mama turns out the light. Magically her darkened room becomes blue as moonlight fills her bedroom with blue light.
There are so many things I love about In a Blue Room. First, the illustrations by Tricia Tusa are gorgeous. I wish my room looked as beautiful as Alice’s bedroom. Then I love Jim’s use of color and the five senses – smell (lilacs and lilywhites), taste (orange tea), touch (a silky-soft and warm quilt), sounds (lullaby bells) and sight (colors and light). Not only is it a beautiful bedtime story that teaches the colors and senses, but it also reminds parents that we have to “set the stage” for good sleep both for our children and ourselves.
Foods that Make You Sleepy
I’ve written at my blog, This Mama Cooks! about foods that can make your children sleepy. In fact, a new study has come out showing that carbs may help you fall asleep faster because they raise tryptophan and serotonin levels.
But now that it’s summer, your child may be having a tough time getting to sleep because they’re too warm. If you don’t have air conditioning, try a cooling shower or bath before bedtime. A drink of ice water or cool milk (tryptophan!) will help, too.
One of the things I liked to do as a kid was to get chilly before going to bed by eating a bowl of ice cream. So to celebrate berries, keep cool, and blue, how about a recipe for blueberry sorbet from the June 2008 issue of Sunset magazine?
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried culinary lavender (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 pints fresh or frozen blueberries (6 cups)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- In a saucepan, bring sugar, 1 cup water, and lavender, if using, to a boil. Add salt and simmer 2 minutes. Transfer sugar syrup to a metal bowl and let cool to room temperature. Strain and discard lavender.
- In a blender, purée sugar syrup, blueberries, and lemon juice. Strain and discard seeds and skin. Cover and chill sorbet mixture at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
- Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer-safe dish, cover, and freeze until hard, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Makes about 5 cups (serving size: 1/2 cup)
Per serving: CALORIES 108 (3% from fat); FAT 0.3g (sat 0.0g); CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CARBOHYDRATE 28g; SODIUM 64mg; PROTEIN 0.6g; FIBER 2g
(For those parents doing Weight Watchers, 1/2 cup only has 2 Weight Watchers POINTS.)