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What If Bedtime Didn't Exist?

Interest Age: 4–7
Grade: p–2
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: RL.2.2.1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Reading Level: Lexile AD1070L
Hardcover (Picture book) : 9781773218687, 36 pages, March 2024 , 8.5" x 10.0"
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781773218700, 36 pages, March 2024


A whimsical and lyrical celebration of imagination and exploration if we simply asked, “What if . . .”

Follow two siblings through their day as they let their imaginations run wild in this joyful story about all the possibilities a simple “what if” can conjure up: What if the monsters in your closet wanted to be your friend? What if all of the dinosaurs were shrunk to be teeny-tiny when the comet hit the earth? And what if bedtime didn’t exist and we could imagine anything we wanted?

What If Bedtime Didn’t Exist? places an Urban Indigenous family at the heart of a fun and fantastical celebration of daydreaming, adventure, and play while living in the city. The tenderness and care in this intergenerational home is seen through relationships with all members in the family.

Mathias Ball’s vibrant illustrations bring each page of acclaimed author Francine Cunningham’s debut picture book to life. What If Bedtime Didn’t Exist? opens up new spaces for creativity and endless possibilities into our everyday world.


  • Joint winner, TD Summer Reading Club 2024


“A tenderly written, beautifully illustrated story that taps into our creative selves. I can already hear the oohs and awes and giggles, and see little fingers circling around the drawings discovering each “what if” and imagining the imaginings. A wonderful story that’s going to kick off so many conversations between readers about all of the “what ifs!”. So much fun!”

- Julie Flett, author of We All Play and Birdsong

“What if the imagination of kids created the world? Then every day would be filled with the rollicking, bright and sparkling, fantastical, astronomical adventures Francine Cunningham and Mathias Ball give us here. Sign me up!”

- Caroline Adderson, author of more than twenty books for children including It Happened on Sweet Street and Norman, Speak!

“What if Bedtime Didn’t Exist? is a day dream that sings and celebrates the innocence of imagination. Every page is pure cozy magic! I want to live in this book! I love it!”

- Richard Van Camp, author of What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses?

“Francine Cunningham has gifted us a story for readers in search of adventure in the everyday. What if Bedtime Didn’t Exist showcases Cunningham’s writing as expansive as riding with dragons and as intimate as confiding hard feels with ladybugs. For the adventurous and sensitive kid alike, What If Bedtime Didn’t Exist is guided by two Indigenous siblings with boundless curiosity, who remind us that the true source of our magic is embedded in our own imaginations.”

- Whitney French, editor of Black Writers Matter

“With a little imagination the children turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary adventure. Glorious illustrations bring their imaginings to life on every page.”

- Youth Services Book Review, *starred review, 02/03/24

“What if there was a great book about kids’ artful, joyful imagination? Oh, wait: Here it is!”

- Kirkus Reviews, 03/01/24

“As bedtime begins, loving wishes provide invincibility for more far-out dreams—encouraging readers to lean into their own what-ifs.”

- Publishers Weekly, 01/11/24