Fiona Loves the Night


It is silent.

It is safe.

It is surprising.

Fiona loves the night.

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It is silent.

It is safe.

It is surprising.

Fiona loves the night.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Awakened by moonlight streaming through the window, young Fiona slips out of her covers and into her backyard. "The night wraps around her like a velvet coat," gently declare the co-authors (Charest is the Newbery Medalist's daughter; they teamed up most recently for Once I Ate a Pie). "It is silent. It is safe." In simple, lyrical prose, the authors measure Fiona's delight in the plants and creatures that come to life after the sun goes down: "There is a moon in the middle of the pond. All around her the frogs jump into the water, making the moon wrinkle." Shepherd (previously paired with MacLachlan for Who Loves Me?) renders the night and its inhabitants in lush, comforting tones. Fingerpainted textures, applied both in strokes and in precise, printlike daubs, convey the dappling moonlight as well as the energy that makes the nocturnal world anything but sleepy. Off-kilter angles and extreme close-ups dominate the compositions, as befits the exotic setting, but the rich palette and heavy black outlines anchor the pictures-they're dreamy rather than nightmarish. All in all, the night is a benevolent place: the moon smiles down on everything, and the creatures, like the orange-eyed barred owl that stares out of one of the pages, seem as curious about the human interloper as she is about them. Children who fear the dark could learn a lot from Fiona. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Heather Christensen
In the middle of the night, Fiona wakes up, turns out the night-light, and steps through her bedroom door to enjoy the sensory delights of the night. Fiona listens to the nocturnal sounds of crickets, a mockingbird and an owl. She gazes at familiar constellations, night-blooming flowers and the reflection of the moon in a pond. She lets her hand trail in the cool, wet grass. Fiona responds gently to creatures that children sometimes find frightening. She counts bats, reaches out to touch the "green lace wing" of a luna moth and runs through fireflies like stars. Until the bright eyes shining in the dark turn out to belong to her dog, Max, who has come to take her back to bed where she can dream about the night. Shepherd's illustrations perfectly complement the text with the rich texture of finger-paints. Bold black lines outline various nighttime flora and fauna. Luminous stars, moths, and fireflies contrast with the dark blues of shadows and the night sky. The language and art evoke a sense of wonder that makes for perfect bedtime reading. Teachers may find that the book nicely introduces the nocturnal world of bats, moths, and stars.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3
A little girl wakes up in the middle of the night. Her dog watches her go outside where "the night wraps around her like a velvet coat." The benevolent moon watches over her and smiles. She sees the stars, flowers that bloom only at night, and droplets of water hanging like jewels on a spider's web. She hears crickets, a barred owl, and a mockingbird. She runs through the garden where fireflies flash in the dark, and she feels as if she is running through stars. Then her dog comes to take her home. Through the lyrical text, children see the wonders that Fiona experiences. Shepherd places large images only partially shown against finger-painted backgrounds in shades of dark blue. Circles of color make the moon and stars soft and mysterious, and fireflies in the garden are as luminous as stars. The last spread shows Fiona and the moon looking remarkably alike. Librarians might pair Kevin Henkes's Kitten's First Full Moon (Greenwillow, 2004) with this story for a quiet but shining storytime.
—Mary Jean SmithCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060570316
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/18/2007
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia MacLachlan is the bestselling author of beloved books for young readers, including Arthur, For the Very First Time, winner of the Golden Kite Award for fiction; The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt; and Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal, as well as its sequels, Skylark, Caleb's Story, and More Perfect Than the Moon. Her picture books include Who Loves Me?, Three Names, What You Know First, and All the Places to Love and Bittle, Painting the Wind, and Once I Ate a Pie, which she cowrote with her daughter, Emily. She lives with her husband in Williamsburg, Massachusetts.

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