Magic Night

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Magic Nights is the story of a cat who finds something that does not belong in his people's house—something flittery and skittery that turns the rest of the night mysterious and magical. What could it want? Hurricane the cat is going to find out!

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Overview

Magic Nights is the story of a cat who finds something that does not belong in his people's house—something flittery and skittery that turns the rest of the night mysterious and magical. What could it want? Hurricane the cat is going to find out!

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

On a moonlit night, in the chilly, black-and-white tiled interior of a suburban house, the family cat Hurricane senses danger: "Something strange has gotten into his house and things are beginning to change." Although readers don't yet know it, a baby fairy has flown into the house, creating magical chaos. Dolls, toys, paintings-nearly everything in the fairy's trail comes alive. But it's an uneasy kind of aliveness the big-eyed creatures of these realistic pastels look bewitched. Hurricane, his features shown in a series of alarming close-ups, looks into the aquarium; two goldfish have sprouted tiny human limbs. "Hurricane does not like change!" Winged insects, freed from their collection boxes, take up lanterns and write with quill pens. Hurricane slowly relaxes and at last he perceives the truth: "This strange thing is a young thing. This strange thing is a lostthing! It belongs some otherwhere." In Lee's final tableau, the tiny, goat-footed, dragonfly-winged fairy returns to its parents. While the implicit message is uplifting-fear and suspicion may blind us to magic and wonder-younger readers may be overpowered by the eeriness of the fearful imagery at the beginning. Australian author Carmody's (the Obernewtyn Chronicles) career as a fantasy writer may explain the book's pacing; it may find a warmer welcome among older picture book enthusiasts. Ages 4-6.(Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
The night is indeed magic when Hurricane the cat blows into his house with a gust of wind, for the house itself appears strange and surreal. Something has flown past Hurricane. As he chases it, changes all around him are upsetting him. When he catches it, he cannot eat it, for it is a fairy-like creature. The cat hesitates, waking "his people" in their bed, but all over the house strange things are happening. When the flying creature hovers over the baby, Hurricane realizes that it is young and lost. He lets it out the window. Outside the creature's family waits, with a sailing ship that takes them away. Pastels produce complex double-page scenes, naturalistic but with odd items hanging on walls or sitting on tables. Of special mystery is a doll-size character in a red dress that follows the action but plays no active role. Although furry white Hurricane is the center of interest, the scenes are filled with strange creatures like flying goldfish with arms and legs, and bugs that draw pictures. All are visualized in the tones of night, as if lit by lantern light. As the cat watches the strange ship sail away with an eye peering from its rear deck, he hopes "the strange thing will return some magic night."
Kirkus Reviews
In this moonlit cat adventure first published in Australia as The Wrong Thing (2006), Lee captures the mysterious hush of a thick-with-magic night in ghostly, luminous pastels. The quietly urgent, deliciously immediate narrative begins when snow-white Hurricane blows in from his seaside wanderings and encounters a tiny, pointy-eared, faun-like intruder in his territory, a houseful of sleeping humans. But when the cat protectively declares, "There is no place for this strange thing," it doesn't seem remotely true: In the presence of the "flittery, skittery" fairy, a red-dressed doll has come to life, aquarium fish have sprouted human limbs and once-dead-and-framed insect specimens now carry lanterns. (In fact, readers may struggle at first to determine which of the myriad "strange things" the cat is actually pursuing.) When the faun-fairy pays a personal visit to the baby of the house, the cat intuits that it, too, is a young creature . . . and lost. In a familiar-feeling flip of perspective, the fairy rather abruptly flies back to its similarly pointy-eared parents and tells them, "I found the strangest place." An edgy, beautifully surreal dreamscape perhaps best saved for daytime. (Picture book. 4-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375839184
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2007
  • Series: Picture Book Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.33 (w) x 11.31 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Isobelle Carmody's Obernewtyn Chronicles established her at the forefront of fantasy writing in Australia. Her books published in the U.S. include two in the Little Fur series for young readers (The Legend Begins and A Fox Called Sorrow), two in the Gateway series for middle readers (Night Gate and Winter Door), and four in the Obernewtyn Chronicles for young adults. She lives in Apollo Bay, Australia, and Prague, Czech Republic.

Declan Lee works as an illustrator and fine artist and his work is featured in collections in Australia and Germany. He has illustrated a number of book covers and readers for young children. Magic Night is illustrated in pastels, his preferred medium.

From the Hardcover edition.

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