How to Make a Night


Have you had a bad day?

Have things been zooming out of control from the moment you set your feet ...

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Have you had a bad day?

Have things been zooming out of control from the moment you set your feet on the floor this morning?

Are you ready for the day to be over?

No problem! Just follow these instructions on how to make a night:

Find a rope. Make a loop.
Let it loose in space.
Catch the sun. Pull it down.
Find a safe, dark place.

Peel the blue from the sky.
Squirt some dye in a sink.
Dunk the blue in the dye
'til it's black like ink.

In this fantastic bedtime tale, a hectic day is put to bed, and a peaceful starry night fills the sky so everyone can rest. Linda Ashman and Tricia Tusa have created a magical world in which the sun and the moon cooperate with a resourceful young girl who is ready to put her busy day behind her and settle down to a good night's sleep — so she can wake up to another exciting day tomorrow!

About the Author:

Linda Ashman is just another author with a graduate degree in urban planning and plenty of experience writing research reports. Linda used to live in New York City and Los Angeles and now lives in Denver with her husband, Jack Hicks, and their son, Jackson, who is just another extraordinary child who makes every day an adventure.

After a hectic day, it is time to bring on the night so that a child and her family can finally rest.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this fanciful picture book, Ashman's (Babies on the Go) portrait of a frazzled family begins with pandemonium and ends with bedtime hugs. Initially, a wild gaggle of children and pets dangle from the ceiling and doorways while their overwhelmed parents, with catatonic faces, sit on the sofa. Tusa (The Ballad of Valentine) matches the brisk, clipped description in the text ("Boat sprang a leak./ .../ Sneaker's in the creek") with energetic illustrations of a house in chaos. On one spread, an overflowing tub creates a river where toy animals in shoe boats float by, while on another, a boy crawls on the ceiling seeking a loose snake. Tusa's clever collages of black lined watercolors and photographs create an edgy tumble of colors to ratchet up the frenzy. Finally, a single determined girl takes charge and follows the crisp, clear directive of the text: "Time to settle down!/ Time to clean the mess!/ Time to bring the night around/ so everyone can rest." She dons an apron, climbs a tree and sweeps the clouds from the sky. When she lassoes the moon (like George in It's a Wonderful Life), Tusa pictures science-book planets orbiting around her, along with a golf ball, lemon and artichoke; somehow the artist makes it all seem perfectly natural. By book's end, the narrative grows poetic, emulating the winding down of the day. A good bedtime choice for especially lively readers. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A recipe for putting our busy lives to sleep at night would be worth a million and so is this book. Its verse has a calming influence on a hectic day. On a not so perfect day when the sneaker's in the creek and the snake's on the loose, a little girl knows exactly what ingredients are needed to paint herself into a peaceful slumber so she can awaken to a sunshine morning. As she settles down for the night and makes the moon fling into a silver spooned sky, she tell us to "grab our best old bear, [and] let your papa give you kisses, [and] your mama hold you tight," so you can settle down and "snuggle in and say good night." The lighthearted illustrations and collage effects convey a sense of joy and playfulness and evoke a desire to try to make one's own go to sleep recipe. 2004, HarperCollins, Ages 4 up.
—Sue Stefurak
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-As this book opens, readers see the end of a day in a hectic household as children hang from the ceiling, toys are spread across the room, food has been spilled everywhere, and an exhausted Papa and Mama sit huddled on the sofa, clearly overwhelmed. Ready to take charge, their daughter leaps onto a chair, mop and bucket in hand, and proclaims: "Time to settle down!/Time to clean the mess!/Time to bring the night around/so everyone can rest." After climbing a tree and mopping up the clouds, she lassoes the sun, tugs it down, and stuffs it in her pocket for safekeeping. And that's only the beginning: the rest of the story is as charming as it is original. The illustrations capture the exuberance of the action; Tusa uses collage to liven up her cheerful watercolor-and-ink designs. She also inserts playful touches: the young heroine gets good-night kisses from her parents in a room that is wallpapered in stars and decorated with a homemade picture of the sun. Meanwhile, the real sun is peeking out of the pocket of her red dress, which is now hanging on a doorknob. This story works best when read aloud by someone who has previewed it; the meters, while flawless and deliciously jaunty, tend to change without signaling. This creative, beautifully executed bounce of a bedtime tale is fun to read any hour of the day.-Susan Weitz, Spencer-Van Etten Schools, Spencer, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this captivating collaboration, a capable-looking lass takes charge when it's time to clean up the day's household wrack-"Train skipped the track. / Cat spilled the juice. / Cake's on the floor. / Snake's on the loose"-then slips outside to finish the job by roping in the Sun, replacing the sky's blue with gold-spattered black, and calling in the night chorus of owls and crickets. Mixing clipped photos and fluently brushed paint, Tusa depicts both gloriously cluttered domestic scenes and a wide, fanciful outdoors, through all of which her mop-wielding, tartan skirt-clad young dynamo strides purposefully until-work done-she washes up and joins a notably diverse crew of siblings for dinner. Then she snuggles down in bed to rest until "it's time to toss the sun up high and haul away the moon." Ashman uses rhyme and rhythm masterfully to control the pace of this irresistible invitation to get off your duff. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060290320
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/21/2004
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.34 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Ashman

LINDA ASHMAN is the author of many other picture books, including Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs, a Booklist Editors' Choice. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

JANE DYER has illustrated many beloved--and bestselling--picture books. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
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