Last updated on Jul 8th, 2015 at 11:49 am

Ask any parent how they feel about reading bedtime stories to their little ones, and you’ll get the same response every time; “I feel guilty if I don’t read a bedtime story, but I’m often too tired at the end of the day. When I do decide to read a story, my little one chooses the biggest, longest book, and my heart sinks. My child ends up getting over-stimulated when all I want is for him or her to quietly drift off to sleep.”

Sound familiar? This reality is played out every evening in most homes with children between the ages of two and eight. The debut book by Dave Bester was written specifically with this conundrum in mind. ‘My friend Paperman’ is a collection of five-minute bedtime stories that are super easy on parents and loved by children.

Your child, the star of his own bedtime story


The book encourages parents to substitute the main character’s name with that of their child, so the little one stars in his or her own bedtime story. And parents read it directly from their device while the child has to close his or her eyes and use imagination to paint the pictures.

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Each story only takes five minutes

The book features a ‘real’ special friend called Paperman. Parents are invited to make their own Paperman together with their child, and put it up on the wall in their child’s bedroom. This makes the character real. Each story follows the same plot – when your child leaves for school in the mornings, Paperman hops down off the wall and goes to explore. Along the way, Paperman meets all sorts of interesting characters, from bugs to animals, including a few who are on the endangered species list.

Inevitably he gets into a spot of bother, and needs his special friend (your child) to come home and save him. Each story has a natural pace with all the action in the first few minutes, culminating in Paperman being saved and brought back to his bedroom, and put to bed by your little one. This is also the signal for your child to go to sleep. And each story only takes five minutes.

Reading bedtime stories have a number of long-term benefits

Experts are in agreement that reading a bedtime story to children has a number of long-term benefits. Apart from solidifying a special bond between parent and child, children who are spoken to a lot are faster at understanding words. Rich and varied language fires the imagination, and children are required to work their memory to follow the plot. This speedy processing helps them do better at school.

‘My friend Paperman’ is available at the Amazon Kindle Store. Order it here.

For more information go to or contact the author, Dave Bester, at .

Good to know: 5% of the proceeds of ‘My friend Paperman’ will be donated to Rhinos in Africa, an organisation that assists those individuals and organisations who, through their tireless efforts, are helping to ensure the survival of this species for future generations. For more information go to .

About the author: Dave Bester is a retired advertising man. He spent 28 years in the business and for 17 years ran his own multi-award winning advertising agency, Bester Burke Slingers, based in Cape Town. The father of four sons, he had to take care balancing the demands of his growing business with the demands of being a husband and a father to his four sons. Throughout his career Dave has lived by a simple mantra – he had to be there to tuck his boys into bed at night, and there to wake them in the mornings. And it was this philosophy that led to the birth of My friend Paperman, a collection of interactive bedtime stories. Eleven years after Paperman was invented Dave decided to close his business and pursue his career as an author.