Review: 31 Bedtime Prayers and Poems


Title: 31 Bedtime Prayers and Poems

Author: Steve Legg and Jude Simpson

Illustrator: Andy Gray

Published by: SCM

Price: Hardback £9.99 Softback £7.98

Good for: Families with children age 2-10 years old, as a gift for a dedication, baptism or Baptism Birthday

Best bit: I loved the natural feeling, funny, rhyming bedtime poem-prayers I could easily imagine becoming family favourites

Worst bit: The poem-prayers are fab, and would have been glorious is they were accompanied by beautiful full-colour, full-page illustrations. However, I know this is super-pricey and would have put the book price higher than most families can afford. Also the softback book has uncoated pages which I felt might get a bit tatty with use I would expect them to get from re-reading these poem-prayers many times.


I haven’t come across many children’s books of poems or prayers which I have read cover to cover. They are usually lack-lustre and too poorly rhymed for me to continue past the first few pages. But this one is different. This one starts by recognising bedtime is a glorious “unpredictable mixture of treasured moments and infuriating disarray” and proceeds to give the reader a wonderful, varied collection of funny, warm, beautiful, faith-filled poem-prayers.

I call them poem-prayers, because from the title I thought there might be poems and prayers, but they are Poem-Prayers with both elements well executed: the poems are good, their rhythms and rhymes work well and I didn’t feel myself straining to make them work on the first reading. The prayers cover a variety of topics, are child-friendly, have almost no religious jargon which would make them feel incongruous.

I could immediately think of a whole collection of families who would like these prayers – and by that I mean the paents AND the children. I can imagine them using the whole book then re-using a few poem-prayers on the regular, making them become part of their ‘faith at home liturgy’.

I like lots of these poem-prayers (and can see myself using them on my own!), but I think my favourite is this one:

Wrap me in peace

Lord, as I close my eyes to sleep,

Wrap me in peace, so warm and deep.

Roll me in relaxation and calm,

Hold me in hope, like caring arms.

Cloak me in confidence, strong and true,

Help me be me, surrounded by you.

You can get this book here