Review Detail

Kids Fiction 107
Adventures in the Night
Overall rating
 
3.8
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
A child is having trouble falling asleep because of restless thoughts, and hears the stars beckoning through a cut work window to come outside so that they can take the child to a happy place. Traveling through the dark world, past the river and up the hills to the woods, the child is invited to dance with a squirrel, a fox, a hare, and a pair of stoats which all appear in a variety of carefully placed holes in the pages. They all dance until they are too tired, and the child returns home, able to sleep because the happy place has been found.

Good Points
Since the book is set outside at night, the illustrations are all done in dark browns and deep teals, with accents of muted oranges and yellows. The real draw here is the way the paper is cut; some of the pages are trimmed away so that the other pages show through, not just in window frame or circle shapes, but sometimes along the tops of the page (there are several where the moon stays on the top and the pages don't go all the way to the edge of the book), with some of the middle pages having only about half the paper. It's hard to explain but very striking. I can imagine the work that went into this at the press!

This was somewhat similar to Teckentrup's Moon, so she must like the idea of wandering about in the dark of the night, having adventures! Other read alikes include The Night Is for Darkness by Stutzman and Kuefler, Allen and White's Moonlight Prance, and Greig's The Night Box.

It's a beautiful book, and the illustrations are very expressive, but I found myself thinking about how easily the pages could get ripped, and looking closely to see if the child was very boots or was outside in stocking feet! That clearly misses the point, although it is important for everyone to identify a happy place. Mine is Kensington Gardens, but during the daytime, please!
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