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Night Driving

Night Driving

5.0 4
by John Coy, Peter McCarty (Illustrator)

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A warm-hearted portrait of a simple event that encapsulates the bond between a father and a son.

This warm and thoughtful story about a father and son on an all-night drive to the mountains is just right for Father's Day.


A warm-hearted portrait of a simple event that encapsulates the bond between a father and a son.

This warm and thoughtful story about a father and son on an all-night drive to the mountains is just right for Father's Day.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Perfect bedtime beckoning for would-be roamers.” —The Horn Book, starred review

“A series of hushed, starlit illustrations creates the imping sense that magic is just around the bend.” —Kirkus Reviews, pointer

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mood replaces plot in Coy's debut book, which describes a father and son's all-night road trip in the '50s. Action is spare and archetypal: they see a deer, fix a flat, stop for breakfast at a diner. The author establishes the sweetness of the father/son relationship, but doesn't offer much meat in his storytelling. McCarty's (Frozen Man) soft pencil illustrations look like black-and-white photos blurred and bleached by the passage of time; even so, they seem to glow with the refracted beams from the car's headlights. There is a quiet, insistent power to the art, but the sensibility is almost implacably adult. Kids will likely be frustrated by the limited ability of black-and-white illustrations to represent such references as the sun setting "in a mix of orange and pink." While this treatmentand this topicmay nourish the nostalgia of parents, the primary audience may be asking, "Are we there yet?" long before the end of the drive. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Armin A. Brott
A man and his son are driving west taking their first camping trip together. They're going to drive all night, and the little boy gets to stay up as late as he wants. They talk about baseball, and mule deer. They change a flat, throw stones under the stars, eat in a diner, and wash their hands in a cold stream. As they watch the sun rise over the mountains, they stand together, arms around each other, knowing that this was a trip that covered far more than miles of road; it was a trip neither will ever forget.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3"My dad and I are driving west...I'm excited because it's my first trip to the mountains and we're going to sleep in a tent." Soon, night falls, and their journey is marked by the vast prairies in the moonlight, a flat tire, conversations and car games, a hurried visit to an outhouse where "...it's dark and flies buzz," and, toward dawn, a stop at a roadside diner. When they're done with breakfast, the boy is surprised by the daylight: "Suddenly, I see giant peaks, sharp as bear's teeth, that push into the sky. `Look, Dad, the mountains.' " Told in the first person in the present tense, the narrative has an immediacy that is an interesting contrast to its overall nostalgic tone. The closeness between father and son is depicted in a nicely understated way. Coy has captured the fresh perspective and simple voice of a child. McCarty's soft pencil drawings show a postwar era, with old cars and billboards and a very low-tech pup tent. The illustrations' still, slightly surreal quality is appropriate to the mood. A distinctive book that may need some selling, but that will appeal to many kids once they get into it.Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL

Product Details

Square Fish
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 9.74(h) x 0.17(d)
AD520L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

John Coy has written several books for children and spends much of his time as a writer-in-residence at elementary schools. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Peter McCarty is the author and illustrator of T Is for Terrible, Baby Steps, Little Bunny on the Move and Hondo and Fabian, for which he won a Caldecott Honor. He lives with his wife and two children in Upstate New York.

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Night Driving 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderfully written book about a father/son road trip. Their conversations hit home and the drawings are beautiful. If you enjoy driving trips with your children, this book is a must. We originally got this book from the library and enjoyed it so much we wanted a copy of our own. This is Dad's favorite bedtime book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up at a booksale years ago and immediately fell in love. It is the most beautiful, simple tale of love between father and son. I cried and cried over the innocent and tender moments shared in this story. It is truly a book to treasure and inspire fathers to remember that it is the smallest of events that will be forever captured in a child's memory. The illustrations enhance the story beautifully.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Night Driving is one of my favorite books to read to my young son. I love the illustrations and the unique narrative.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is not an action filled adventure, but rather a touching story about a father/son road trip told in a heartwarming nostalgic way. it it beautifully ilustrated and enjoyable for parent and child alike. probably most suitable for a father/child