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Friday, December 9, 2016

It's Not Time for Sleeping (A Bedtime Story), written by Lisa Graff and illustrated by Lauren Castillo. Clarion, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Raincoast. 2016 $23.99 ages 3 and up

"When dinner is over,
Dad runs water in the sink.
I squeeze the soap and make
"It's getting dark," he says,
while he scrubs and scrubs.
"It could be darker," I tell

It is not time for sleeping."

If you are a parent of grown kids, you will remember back to the time when they used every excuse in the book to postpone the inevitable. Bedtime does come and with it, well earned rest for all. If you are parents to a toddler, you will be learning daily the many valid and reasonable ways a child can find to delay bedtime.

In Lisa Graff's first picture book, she uses repetitive, cumulative text to bring a sense of peaceful calm to the end of this little boy's day. It starts as the family sits at the supper table. Mom wants to talk about how good the day has been. The little one reminds her that the day is not yet done. It is definitely 'not time for sleeping.' His dog Jasper agrees, with a tail wag. With each after dinner ritual completed - dishes, bath, favorite pajamas, teeth brushed, a romp with Jasper, a tuck-in, a story with Dad, and one final special moment - it seems the time has finally come.

Laura Castillo's warm and cozy signature images, done in ink and watercolor, perfectly match the tone of this comforting story you will want to share and your children will want to hear. The sky darkens and the moon rises. Soft lighting and shadows create a visual hug that is as welcome as the one that ends this little one's good day!

Lovely - and now ready to be shared with my toddler granddaughter who has some bedtime rituals of her own. She unwraps it today.

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