cover image Time for Bed, Old House

Time for Bed, Old House

Janet Costa Bates, illus. by A.G. Ford. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0998-3

Bates delivers a heartfelt, affirming multigenerational narrative centering Isaac, a Black boy nervous for “his first sleepover at Grandpop’s house.” As the duo’s board game winds down, Isaac protests that he’s not tired. “ ‘Then stay awake,’ Grandpop said. ‘But it’s time to put the house to bed,’ ” thus beginning a tender journey that assuages Isaac’s worries about the old house’s clicks, squeaks, and creaks. As Snuffles, Grandpop’s old Airedale, follows, grandfather and grandson prepare the home for bedtime, from closing its blinds to reading it a bedtime story. Warm, atmospheric watercolor illustrations by Ford present a rich variety of angles and finely rendered detail, such as the bedtime story’s cover of Ezra Jack Keats’s The Snowy Day. This touching, expertly paced bedtime tale will resonate with anyone who’s had a sleepover or experienced fright in a new place, and serves as a soothing testament to a compassionate grandparent-grandchild relationship. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)