Kindergarten Books > Good Night, Alfie Atkins (Burhan)

Good Night, Alfie Atkins (Burhan)

Written and illustrated by Gunilla Bergström, translated by Mona Henning Published by Dar al-Muna

Alfie (“Burhan” in the Arabic version) is acting strange; he is quiet and dutiful, which worries his father. Could it be because he is starting school soon? A story that supports the child in his new journey to school.

Family Activities

Alfie (“Burhan” in the Arabic version) could not sleep! He deceives his father and exhausts him with his requests until his father gets tired and sleeps on the living room floor, so Alfie covers him and wishes him a good night, and goes to bed!


Dear Parents,

Does this situation sound familiar?

Many children in this age group find it difficult to sleep on their own, perhaps because of fears that concern them, or because of the difficulty in separating from their parents, or retreat from their fully active day; In order to do so, they need a “transitional ritual” from their waking state to their sleeping state. The ritual may be a story that the child reads with their parents, or a simple game in a calm atmosphere. Children in this age group are also busy testing the limits of what’s permitted and what’s forbidden, and they experiment with the parents’ ability to endure. This is their way of arranging their inner world in a clear and consistent manner, and in gaining a sense of security in the presence of people who understand and fulfill their needs, while at the same time setting certain limits.

Family Activities

  • We can talk with our child about the need of adults and young children for a ritual that helps us fall asleep (such as reading, or having a hot drink, etc.). What helps our child to relax? What helps us?
  • Together, we can look at the cover of the book and read its title aloud. We can talk with our child about the paradox between the the title, which suggests that the child is asleep, and the illustration, which shows the opposite. We can browse the book’s drawings, looking for the smile on the father’s lips, and the smile on Alfie’s lips. What does it tell us about the feeling and mood of each of them? We can search for other physical expressions and talk about what they indicate.
  • We can talk about books that our child would like us to read with them before bed. We may allocate a place for these books beside our child’s bed so that they are easily accessible.
  • Alfie’s father in this story is the one who cares for him and takes care of him. This is an occasion to have a dialogue with our child about the things they would like to do during the day with their father in particular.
  • The illustrator uses the “collage” method, in which she inlays her drawings with pieces of cloth, with wool threads, and with various pictures from newspapers, magazines and postcards. Together, we can design a painting in which we mix these elements, and add others that are available in quantity at home.
  • Enjoy your reading and your activities!

المربّية العزيزة،

يعرض كتاب " تصبح على خير يا برهان" موقفًا شائعًا في حياة العائلات. فالعديد من أطفال هذا العمر يستصعبون أو "يقاومون" النّوم، وقد يرتبط ذلك بصعوبة الانفصال عن أحداث النّهار، والانتقال من حالة اليقظة والنّشاط إلى حالة الرّاحة والنّوم. يحتاج الأطفال، في كثير من الأحيان، إلى طقوسٍ تهيّئهم للنّوم كلّ مساء؛ مثل الاستحمام، وقراءة قصّة، أو اللّعب بلعبةٍ مع أحد الوالدين. صديقنا "برهان" هو أحد هؤلاء الأطفال الّذين يبتكرون الحجّة تلو الأخرى ليأخّروا موعد نومهم، إلى أن ينهك الأهل ويغفوا!

רעיונות לשילוב הספר בגן

From the Field