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At Isaac’s first sleepover, he gets to help Grandpop with a very special routine—putting the house to bed—in a story that’s just right for children visiting a new place, or for adopting a new ritual at home.
Isaac is excited about having a sleepover at Grandpop’s house, but he’s a little nervous about being away from home for the first time. Luckily, his knowing Grandpop tells him it’s not quite time to go to bed yet—first, he needs Isaac’s help in putting the house to bed. Quietly and slowly, they move from room to room, turning out lights and pulling down shades, as Grandpop gently explains the nighttime sounds that Isaac finds unfamiliar. Now it’s time to read the house a bedtime story (Isaac is good at reading the pictures). By the time the house is settled in for the night, Isaac and Grandpop are ready for bed, too. Janet Costa Bates’s tender story and A. G. Ford’s cozy illustrations will have families—and extended families or friends—eager to take a wise Grandpop’s cue and embrace a new nighttime tradition.
About the Author
Janet Costa Bates is the author of Seaside Dream, illustrated by Lambert Davis, which was named a Lee and Low’s New Voices Honor Book. She lives in Massachusetts, where she and her husband enjoy having their grandchildren visit for sleepovers.
A. G. Ford is a New York Times best-selling children’s book illustrator and recipient of two NAACP Image Awards. His previous picture books include Hello, I’m Johnny Cash by G. Neri, Goal! by Mina Javaherbin, and Desmond and the Very Mean Word by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams. A. G. Ford lives in Frisco, Texas.
It’s a cozy story of a loving Black grandfather and grandson, and Bates mirrors Grandpop’s clever strategy with a smartly structured narrative. . . Ford’s illustrations have an unusual sturdiness and dimension for watercolors, with a touch of toylike charm in the surroundings, in the figures’ oversized heads, and in Snuffles, Grandpop’s amiable terrier. Adults will latch immediately onto Grandpop’s brilliant method, and this gently soporific read will be a joy for grandparents to share whether face to face or over FaceTime.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
Isaac loves spending time at Grandpop’s house, but is he brave enough for a sleepover?. . . . Ford’s illustrations of this loving Black duo within the comfy, older house are warm and tender. The rich honey-brown, gold, and blue hues are natural choices for a bedtime book. Isaac’s first-sleepover story is honest and one that young children will appreciate; adult readers will find it nostalgic. A delightful multigenerational story, perfect for bedtime or anytime a child is afraid.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The art is as charming and endearing as Isaac and Grandpop’s bedtime adventure. . . . The rituals of bedtime, as encompassing and timeless as the bonds between generations, elevate a simple tale and make it an essential purchase for every collection.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Bates delivers a heartfelt, affirming multigenerational narrative. . . 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.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
In Ford’s rich-hued, warm-toned illustrations, books appear in nearly every room of the house, highlighting the centrality of literacy to this family and foreshadowing what will come next. . . . A fine, uplifting intergenerational story of literacy, literature, and homemade love.
—The Horn Book
The book, full of rich watercolors, is a tender portrayal of a grandparent and grandchild relationship.