A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids learn about animals such as the cricket and the bat
-- and also get information about mushrooms, trees and the moon. An index at the end defines words
like "omnivorous" and "photosynthesis."
Shows the beauty of the nighttime world and encourages kids to learn about nocturnal animals through both poetry and scientific explanation.
Positive Role Models
Parents can point out some of the amazing characteristics that can be found in nature -- such as the brave baby porcupine who, while small, states "But I can deal with any threat;/ I raise my quills/ and pirouette." ... or the tree that promises "to stand while all the seasons fly;/ to anchor earth,/to touch the sky."
Violence & Scariness
Some discussion of predators. A mice, fearing detection from an owl, asks it to "disregard/ the tiny hiccup/ of my heart/ as I flee."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this poetry book about the plants and animals of the nocturnal world won a 2011 Newbery Honor from the American Library Association. Through verse, and a more scientific
description on an accompanying page, kids learn about animals such as the cricket and the bat
-- and also get information about mushrooms, trees, and the moon. An index at the end defines words
like "omnivorous" and "photosynthesis." Allen's striking linoleum cut prints work perfectly with the text as they somehow manage to be both scientific and magical. The verse probably works best when read aloud, especially for younger readers who may require some explanation along the way.
Is It Any Good?
This book seamlessly weaves poetry together with facts about nature, so that kids will find each element of the book to be inspiring and educational. The striking, detailed illustrations capture the text perfectly, also managing to be both magical and scientific-looking. Kids -- and parents -- will see the beauty in the nocturnal world that Sidman's presents here, and be awed by the brave, clever, and industrious plants and animals "who wake at dusk and throw off sleep."
Parents and teachers who share this book may want to present only a few pages at a time so that kids can really study the rich words and drawings of this award-winning book.
The striking linoleum cut prints work perfectly with the text as they somehow manage to be both scientific and magical. Kids will have fun spotting the Wandering Elf, who travels with readers through the pages, visiting the nocturnal world.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.