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I Don't Want To Sleep Tonight

I wasn’t setting out to write a children’s book – just trying to get my little boy to sleep.  I’d seen a connection between his tv viewing and restless nights but I knew unless HE made the connection, I’d never win the ‘turn of the tv’ battle. 

My little poem worked!  And it’s helped countless other parents too!

I Don’t Want To Sleep Tonight

By Deborah Norville   (©1999 Golden Books)

I Don't Want to Sleep Tonight - by Deborah NorvilleThe TV lady tells kids to turn off the television!

I wrote this never dreaming it would become a published book. "I Don't Want To Sleep Tonight" came into being as a poem I wrote for one of my the hopes that he would see a hidden message in the story of the little child who had scary dreams after watching an overload of TV and videogames.

He slept right through the scary dreams...but I woke up, and never went back to sleep! The poem was written in a sort of desperate form of self-defense! When he heard the part, "And one thing I have noticed about these visits from these creatures, they only come on nights when I've seen some TV features...," he remarked, "Hey, Mom, you think that's it?" To which I said, "Yup, I think so. Let's test my theory and see if I'm right!"

My kids do watch TV (but never on school days!) However, they are aware of the connection between too much TV and some less desirable behaviors. "I Don't Want To Sleep Tonight" has helped make that point. Written in verse, even the most exhausted parent (and aren't we all!) can read the story with their little one in their lap or snuggled under the covers.


"TV Mommy's book...makes heavy use of the lift-flaps and pop-ups popular with today's kids. It rhymes through and through, too. Here's its happy ending: So now there will be no TV. Well, not tonight at least. And something tells me when I sleep this time there will be peace!"

~ November 4, 1999  Ed Bark, Dallas Morning News

"A delightful book full of lift the flaps and pop-ups"

"A parent's dream. My little one and I were going through a difficult time with night-terrors. I saw Deborah Norville on the Today Show and I loved the warm and loving way she confronted the same situation. Now my son and I snuggle up and explore this wonderful book with a supportive message. We are already seeing the results of turning off the TV and reading this story together before bed!" ~November 3, 1999  Monika from New Jersey, USA


            Upon opening I Don't Want to Sleep Tonight, readers immediately become engaged in following a little child's expressive bedtime fears. Popular television journalist Deborah Norville presents a message of how more nighttime reading and less TV-watching encourages healthier sleep in her first children's book.

This pop-up book offers charming insights with colorful, easy to follow script.

At night the book's young boy has trouble falling asleep, imagining monsters lurking in the bunk bed, under covers, behind window shades, in the ceiling fan. The monsters go away only when the light is turned on or when Mommy or Daddy comes to the rescue. But the child is aware of what causes his nightmares:

"And one thing I have noticed about these visits from these creatures/ They only come on nights when I've seen some TV features.

Amidst vibrant illustrations and rhyming verse tucked cleverly beneath lift-up flaps, a modern lullaby can be heard through a timely lesson.

Best for ages: 4 to 8

From Publishers Weekly:

Veteran TV journalist Norville tackles the medium with which she's most familiar in her first children's book, a lift-the-flap/pop-up title about television's negative influence on a child's bedtime dreams. Watching TV or playing video games before bed inspires scary visions of monsters for the young protagonist, while quieter pursuits such as reading books or painting model cars conjure peaceful images of "a world of chocolate rivers with fields of candy trees."