This month's #kidlitpicks theme is beloved bedtime stories. So let's be honest. A good bedtime book- one of those really good stories that lulls your little one into a calm, safe, and snug space before he closes his eyes- is hard to find. There are undoubtedly some beauties out there, but there are also many more that completely miss the mark by falling into saccharine prose or rhymes with poor meter that cause you to stumble while reading aloud.
Enter Lisa Graff's It is Not Time for Sleeping, with illustrations by the incomparable Lauren Castillo. I haven't loved a bedtime book this much since I fell in love with Mary Logue's Sleep Like a Tiger. While totally different in tone and style, It is Not Time for Sleeping has that same smooth feel, that same perfect pacing, and that flawless read aloud quality that seems as if it happens by magic but likely takes years and years of edits and revision.
The premise of the story is simple- a little boy is resisting his bedtime. Shocker. All of us parents know the routine- we're all way too familiar with the stall tactics/trembling lips/crossed arms/petulant pouts/and all out stubbornness that ensues as the clock ticks closer towards that dreaded time. And here, as each piece of his habitual bedtime routine is respectfully completed, the boy becomes even more stubborn in his convictions until he eventually - finally!- succumbs to his fatigue.
Written in gentle, cumulative text, and paired with Castillo's luminous illustrations, It Is Not Time for Sleeping is a new treasure on Pickle's night stand. Children will feel an immediate connection to the child in the book as well as his familiar routine, both of which create a sense of comfort for little ones as they snuggle under their covers. This is a tender book that begs for a reread, and it will undoubtedly be cherished by stubborn children for generations to come. For more great beloved bedtime stories, check out @feeloves and @ohcreativeday!
Want the book? Get it here! It is Not Time for Sleeping, by Lisa Graff. *This is an affiliate link. I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, but all opinions are my own.