cover image It Is Not Time for Sleeping

It Is Not Time for Sleeping

Lisa Graff, illus. by Lauren Castillo. Clarion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-544-31930-1

Graff’s bedtime story is told by a boy who has just finished dinner. His mother sits at his right, his father to his left, and the family dog looks up at him hopefully. He knows what’s coming next, and it’s not bed. “It is not time for sleeping,” he informs readers. Comforting bedtime rituals accumulate, “House That Jack Built” style (“When dinner is over and the dishes are scrubbed and I’m squeaky-squeak clean and zipped up to my chin”), but the boy continues to defer thoughts of sleep. Castillo (Nana in the City) conjures security with her trademark warm colors and solid black contours; the light from the hall illuminates Dad’s rocking chair as he reads to the boy in bed. “That was a nice one,” Dad says about the story. “Mmm,” the boy says sleepily. In her first picture book, Graff (Lost in the Sun) rebalances the traditional bedtime dynamic ever so slightly, portraying parents who never need to resort to authority, instead letting the reliable routines of day’s end work their magic. Ages 4–7. Author: Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Management. Illustrator’s agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Nov.)