It’s Time for Bed
It’s Time for Bed
It’s time for bed. The sun has set,
Siasi, have you brushed your teeth yet?
NoooOOOooo! I don’t want to brush my teeth!
I want to dance with the polar bear!
Roar, roar, roar!
Bedtime - a time of day that both parents and child[ren] may not relish. Most parents have established pre-bedtime routines for their children, and, in turn, many children have a litany of reasons as to why those routines should “legitimately” be ignored. Because Siasi lives in Canada’s North, she offers reasons for avoiding going to bed that will undoubtedly be novel to those used by children living closer to Canada’s border with the United States. And so, Siasi delays brushing her teeth because she must dance with a polar bear, postpones putting on her PJs to run with the caribou, dawdles over putting away her toys by flying with geese, foot-drags selecting a good night story by howling with wolves, avoids climbing into bed by hopping with rabbits, and finally defers closing her eyes as “I want to swim with the fish!”
After one of the unseen parents recites the full list of Siasi’s bedtime avoidance behaviours, s/he asks: “Stasi, are you ready for bed yet?” To which Stasi somewhat cheekily responds:
Yes, I’m ready for bed...
What are you waiting for?
Let’s go to bed!
Ceporah Mearns & Jeremy Debicki’s patterned text subtly invites readers to join in on Siasi’s “No” line, and repeated readings should see them making the sounds or movements connected with the various northern animals. According to an endnote, the co-authors live in Iqaluit, Nunavut, where their daughter, “Siasi inspired this story by always coming up with so many things that she needs to do when it’s time to go to bed.” Tim Mack’s bright, cartoon-like illustrations imaginatively fill the double-page spreads with action. A nice touch by this Vancouver-based artist is his addition of a clock which, at the story’s outset, reads 7:00. However, when the now impatient Siasi finally decides it’s bedtime, the hands on the clock have advanced to 8:05.
Though It’s Time for Bed is about bedtime, I do not see it as a story that I would choose to read to my grandchildren at bedtime. It’s a fun, but not a calming, read. Read it in the morning, read it in the afternoon, but don’t read it at night - unless you want your children to emulate Siasi’s animal replicating sounds and movements (for 55 or so minutes).
It’s Time for Bed is a book for home collections as well as day cares, kindergartens and libraries serving preschoolers and their parents.
Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.