"The Bedtime Chronicles" Just Might Be The Next Great Children's Book Series

The second release of the series, 'Girl with the Blue Hair' is out now.

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The Bedtime Chronicles

Bedtime stories are the foundation of anyone’s childhood, and everyone knows the tales that had the most lasting impact on their lives: Dr. Seuss, the Berenstein Bears, the list goes on and on.

As the years go on and the world evolves, so do the stories we look to tell our children (or in my case, my niece and nephew.)

Derek Siskin, author of Legend of the Dadman, and his co-creator Ryan Alovis are following up their debut book with Girl with the Blue Hair, the second entry in The Bedtime Chronicles series.

Centered on the Rimes family, there’s the parents, Stan and Pam, their son, Benny, and their daughter, Mary Lou, the eponymous blue-haired girl. There’s also the family’s pet bunny/spirit animal, Hip-Hop, who is “pretty chill hence the shades and the flip-flops.”

Each book is told to Benny by one of his family members as a bedtime story, with Girl with the Blue Hair following Mary Lou as she tells the story of her encounter with the school bully and the ensuing series of events that led to her blue hair.

We sat down with Siskin and Alovis to get the full rundown of the new book, what inspired them to do this, and what’s up next.

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The Bedtime Chronicles

Fans of hip-hop music will be right at home reading these books with flowing rhymes and plenty of easter eggs and references to artists, songs, and albums throughout. The Rimes family lives at 36 Chambers Street (a nod to the Wu-Tang Clan), while various posters and objects at Mary Lou’s school pay tribute to Kanye, Drake, Lil Kim, Snoop Dogg, Lauryn Hill, and more.

“As a dad to young kids, I’ve read my fair share of children’s rhyme books, and they can be very formulaic,” said Siskin. “Hip-hop music is a form of rhyme that’s known for its vast array of styles. As a lifelong fan of the genre, I felt that if we could incorporate some of its creativity, wordplay, and storytelling nature, there was an opportunity to make a very fun and different type of rhyme book for the kids.”

References to classic movies like E.TOver the Top, and Home Alone, are found in the books as well, helping parents introduce the things they love to their children, bridging those generations.

“We wanted to create something special that appeals to both children and their parents so that it makes for a unique and memorable experience when they’re reading it together,” said Alovis.  

“By sprinkling the series with subtle illustration references to the artists and movies that have inspired us, we’re able to pay homage to them while entertaining parents in a nostalgic, Where’s Waldo? type of way,” Siskin followed up.

Thanks to the distinct art style of the books illustrated by Jamie Sale, these sorts of references and easter eggs jump right off the page.

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The Bedtime Chronicles

"[Girl with the Blue Hair] touches on themes of bullying, female empowerment, breaking stereotypes, and standing up for what you believe in. More than anything, we wanted to give kids a story that inspires them and opens their minds to a diversity of people and perspectives," Siskin explained.

"I wrote this book at a time when the world was a scary place, and things were very divided," Siskin continued. "I knew I wanted to create an uplifting story that could bring families together."

With all the obstacles that kids have had to overcome throughout the pandemic, Siskin is focused on giving children an escape at bedtime through creatively inspired rhymes and stories with positive messages.

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The Bedtime Chronicles

Outside of delivering these incredible stories for children, the company simply cares about doing the right thing, and that means giving back as well.

“We’re committed to making a positive impact on as many kids as we can. So for every book sold, we’re donating one to a charity called Pajama Program. The book goes to a child in need who lacks the things necessary for a proper bedtime routine. We truly believe in the benefits of sleep health, and we’re focused on making bedtime better not just for the people buying our products, but for all children,” Alovis explained.

Looking ahead to what’s next for the series, plans to begin illustrating the third book centered around the Rimes mother, Pam, are already in the works with more books about the family slated behind it. As the guys behind The Bedtime Chronicles say, they’re “changing bedtime one story at a rhyme.”

An admirable and important goal if you ask us. And certainly not one to be slept on.

Both entries in ‘The Bedtime Chronicles’ series and other merchandise are available now.

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