• Dusk
  • Dusk


by Uri Shulevitz

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One December afternoon, boy with dog and grandfather with beard take a walk to watch the sun begin to set over the river. When the sun drops low in the sky, they start home. Buildings grow dimmer. People are rushing. As nature's lights go out, one by one, city's lights turn on, revealing brilliant Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Christmas displays in streets, homes, and

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One December afternoon, boy with dog and grandfather with beard take a walk to watch the sun begin to set over the river. When the sun drops low in the sky, they start home. Buildings grow dimmer. People are rushing. As nature's lights go out, one by one, city's lights turn on, revealing brilliant Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Christmas displays in streets, homes, and stores. A stunning picture book that's sure to be a winter holiday classic by Caldecott Medalist Uri Shulevitz.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Sarah Harrison Smith
Many holiday books focus on the traditions and stories of one particular religion—or ignore faith altogether. Shulevitz opts for a more evenhanded approach that seems just right for a city as proudly diverse—but far from secular—as New York. On one side street, the boy and grandfather look up at an apartment building where three windows show equally festive displays of a menorah, a Kwanzaa candelabrum and a Christmas tree, all ablaze with lights. Three little faces peek out, excited by their own observances. Though his text leaves much unsaid, Shulevitz's art suggests that in their reverence for light, these holy days have much in common and go well together, each doing its part to brighten the New York night.
Publishers Weekly
It’s easy to fall prey to melancholy when darkness begins to fall, especially in winter when “Days are short. Nights are long.” In this quirky, cozy companion to the Caldecott Honor–winning Snow, a “boy with dog,” out for a walk with his “grandfather with beard,” comes to realize that a city (especially if it’s New York City) can come alive in magical ways at dusk. The sidewalks and streets fill with people (and one extraterrestrial) headed home or out for a night’s adventure. As manmade illumination gradually replaces “nature’s lights,” the whole world glows and sparkles, while lights belonging to Christmas trees, menorahs, and kinaras promise wonderful celebrations—and presents. “It’s as light as day,” marvels the boy. Shulevitz reprises the stripped-down, staccato storytelling of Snow, and his highly stylized cityscape—with its snug streets, toylike cars, and confidently striding (and eccentrically dressed) population—is both familiar and wonderfully strange. It’s delightful to see such an outgoing and sociable offering from Shulevitz, as he exuberantly embraces the bright joys of a winter night. Ages 3–8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
The hardest assignment during the winter holidays is to find a book that includes all holidays and offends no one. Caldecott-winner Uri Shulevitz may have created just that book. A “boy with dog” and “grandfather with beard” are visiting from Shulevitz’s earlier book, Snow. Watercolors blend to enhance pen and ink sketches of cityscapes with eccentric and eclectic residents. On the streets of this New York, a man who looks like an old “New Yorker” magazine illustration in a top hat and cravat passes an elderly woman who seems to be dressed for another century. Cars and trucks, seemingly from the 1930s, drive on a street that is a tribute to libraries and bookstores, but also includes more modern fitness studios. The rhyming text expresses that the boy is saddened by encroaching darkness. “Dusk,” his Grandfather points out. But then the streetlights come on and holiday decorations come alive. Walking past store windows full of toys and trains, readers know that the holidays are coming. If there remains any doubt in the readers’ mind, the boy and his grandfather walk past three windows of homes, one of each decorated for Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanza. The city is alive with children marching in a Hanukkah parade and a tree lighting ceremony complete with brass band. While the book will work well for story times, the intricacies of the illustrations invite carful study by children and parents. The final double paged spread, which could be a stylized Times Square, complete with the “Mother Goose Theatre” will give adults a good laugh in this near-perfect holiday book for every child. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross; Ages 3 to 8.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—The "boy with dog" and his "grandfather with beard" appear in a companion book to Snow (Farrar, 1998). The threesome take a walk in the late afternoon and witness a beautiful sunset before heading back to the city as the buildings and skies darken. The child feels that dusk is a sad time as it signals the end of day, but he notices the darkness is abated as the electric lights begin going on one by one. The diversity of New York City is revealed as the inhabitants, hurrying along to their varied destinations, are readying to celebrate a trio of holidays: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas. Appealing gray, purple, and blue watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations of dusk are contrasted beautifully by the orange, red, and yellow of the sunset and the holiday lights. Bookstores, signs, and a library in the background are all tributes to reading. The brightly colored lights of the various festivals show that, though dusk may be the end of day, it may also be the beginning of a magical, memorable night.—Maryann H. Owen, Children's Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-09-01
A grandfather, his grandson and their hound dog stroll through a city as the sun sets, meeting comical characters and observing the brightly lit city at night. Caldecott Medalist Shulevitz explored daybreak in Dawn (1974) almost 40 years ago, with a similar odyssey by a grandfather and grandson in a country setting. This time, the "[b]oy with dog and grandfather with beard" head for the city, a fantastical location with tall, narrow buildings that have an Art Deco look and cars and clothing that suggest the 1930s. The boy and his grandfather meet several odd characters from different time periods and places; they speak in rhyming text about their shopping quests. As daylight fades, the lights of the city come on, including streetlights, lighted store windows and brightly lit Christmas decorations. The glowing windows of apartments display candles for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, shown equally in three adjoining windows, and children celebrating the three holidays parade through the town. The pacing speeds up and the amount of artificial light gradually increases until the luminous final page, on which the boy exclaims, "It's as light as day." With the comic-relief exception of the rhyming shoppers, the text is spare and polished, strung together in measured prose like a string of bright holiday lights. Shulevitz elegantly captures the magical quality of twilight as well as the gleaming allure of the bright lights of the big city. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)
AD370L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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