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The Sleepy Time Video - South African Times Online - www.satimesonline.com

Friday, 08 September 2006

Sleepless nights are the bane of every new parent's life, and in modern times are becoming more of an issue for children.

This led South African, Yvonne du Toit and her London-based son, Dan Stevenson, to develop Sleepy Time, a children's bedtime video.

"Dr Phil, in one of his young parenting programmes, highlighted the fact at some time or another most children go through periods where getting off to sleep at night is difficult and can become quite an issue," said Dan.

"Many grown-ups read themselves to sleep. Therefore during those difficult bedtimes we thought why not show little ones a video to help them relax and unwind and make it easier for them to fall asleep and have wonderful dreams.

"With this in mind, as well as the fact that my Mom lives in Cape Town and all her grandchildren are in London, she decided to make a bedtime story on video for them."

Yvonne worked as an insert producer for the SABC for many years. And as Dan was a graphic designer, it was just pure logic that they would work on it together.

"I am also a musician and have been playing various instruments and specifically guitar for over 20 years," said Dan.

Sleepy Time was designed to meet both educational and recreational needs, and the scene is set with the children tucked up in bed, ready for their bedtime story when the story-teller relates the story of Noah and the Flood, following which the children identify animals along the way according to the alphabet.

The visuals are accompanied by a variety of instrumental sounds and music, which were composed by Dan especially for the project. The voice-over was done by former television presenter Delia Sainsbury.

"It seems to appeal to a broad age spectrum, as people who love animals have bought it," said Dan.

"Grannies just love it. Many libraries in South Africa have bought it, and my mom often checks in her local library and more often than not is out on loan."

Dan and Yvonne are currently working on an alphabet story-book, along the same lines as the video.

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