Kate reads encouraging tale from childhood for CBeebies Bedtime Stories

The duchess’s reading of The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark was broadcast on CBeebies.

13 February 2022

The Duchess of Cambridge has invited young viewers into her “bedtime story den” for a reading on CBeebies of a book she enjoyed as a little girl.

Kate described the children’s classic The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark, by Jill Tomlinson, as an “encouraging tale” during her narration of the book to mark Children’s Mental Health Week.

Illustrated by Belfast artist Paul Howard, the book tells the story of baby barn owl Plop, who is helped by others to grow in confidence and overcome his fears.

At the beginning of Sunday night’s episode, the duchess says: “Hello, my name is Catherine and tonight we’re in my bedtime story den.

“I’ve chosen a story which I remember reading as a little girl, it’s called The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark.”

Illustrations from the storybook accompany the reading by Kate, who is wearing jeans and a Fair Isle jumper while sitting in a wooded area, with a hot chocolate within reach, two soft toy owls for company and a lit fire bowl.

At the end of the reading, the duchess adds: “Wow, what an encouraging tale. We can all feel scared sometimes just like our little owl friend Plop, but as Mrs Barn Own said, ‘It’s better to find out about the things that scare us before we make up our mind’.

“And with the help of others, we can often face things that worry us. Now it’s time for bed. Night night and sleep tight.”

Duchess of Cambridge to read a CBeebies Bedtime Story
Paul Howard illustrated The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark (Brian Morrison/PA)

Kate is following in the footsteps of Hollywood star Chris Evans, best known for playing Captain America, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and British actors Tom Hiddleston and Tom Hardy, who have all appeared on CBeebies Bedtime Stories.

The duchess has taken part in the broadcast on the BBC’s channel for young children to mark Children’s Mental Health Week, which is a national event that aims to highlight the importance of the issue.

She picked Tomlinson’s book as the story chimes with this year’s theme of Growing Together.

The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark read by the duchess can be viewed on the CBeebies iPlayer channel.

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