The perfect bedtime story lasts eight minutes and 36 seconds, and includes a dragon, a princess, a wizard and a fairy according to a recent study by Butlin’s. The research also found that parents spent a total of almost one week a year trying to get their children to sleep, and that it was hardest after the summer holidays.
More than half of the 2,000 parents surveyed – 51% – relied on telling children a story to send them to sleep. So it’s reassuring to know that parents are still reading to their children and not relying completely on electronic devices. The survey also found that the perfect story was set in a castle, and the hero or heroine carried a magic wand and a mobile phone.
Horses were the most popular mode of transport.
A strong friendship must form between the characters and there has to be a scary moment in which the hero or heroine faces danger followed by a fight between the hero and baddie – and, of course, the hero must defeat the villain and live happily ever after.
It seems that many of the traditional features of children’s stories are still the ones most appreciated, but children’s authors should remember to include a mobile phone somewhere in their story in a nod to the twenty first century!