Night Lights

Overview

The night is full of lights in this warm bedtime story.

Susan Gal tells the story of a child’s evening routine through all the different kinds of lights that shine in the night. From the porch light by the front door, to the firelight (and firefly light!) of a backyard cookout, and the candles on a cake, everything seems to glow in this warm and cozy book. When the lightning of a sudden summer storm sends the action inside, there is light there too—a bedside light to read by, a ...

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Overview

The night is full of lights in this warm bedtime story.

Susan Gal tells the story of a child’s evening routine through all the different kinds of lights that shine in the night. From the porch light by the front door, to the firelight (and firefly light!) of a backyard cookout, and the candles on a cake, everything seems to glow in this warm and cozy book. When the lightning of a sudden summer storm sends the action inside, there is light there too—a bedside light to read by, a flashlight to make shadows with, a night-light to keep you company, and the moonlight for sweet dreams.

This reassuring reflection of a child’s world makes a wonderful bedtime story, and would be sure to soothe any lingering fears of the dark. A warm, friendly, shining debut from a very talented new author-illustrator.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2009:
"Gal cleverly weaves these intimate moments together to create a seamless bedtime story."

Starred Review, School Library Journal, November 2009:
"Young children will enjoy poring over the rich details in the cozy charcoal and digital collage spreads as they learn to read the simple text"

Julie Just
A darkly lit and rhythmic bedtime story that could also provide early reading help: it's good to get used to those tricky "night" and "light" words that don't sound at all the way they look.
—The New York Times
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
The sun has set and the neighborhood begins to settle in the evening dusk. In one home, a small dog eagerly waits by the picture window for the return of the little girl and her mother. Inferred by the illustrations, the plot is moved along with very few words. The words all involve lights in contrast to the dark. The placement of the words presents a flow to the story. The words and illustrations work well together: moving from the front end paper through to the end. Each lighted action, which begins with the street light and then moves to the mother and daughter biking by the light of their bicycles' headlights, as well as the title page, underscores the readers' awareness of the lights needed for their adventure. At the end of the ride, they reach the porch light which welcomes their entry to the house. The activities continue on into the evening. The story draws to a close with the girl fast asleep (with the dog on her bed) as the moonlight shines in through her window. The reader is pulled back out into the starlight and a final, good night. The front end paper, that brought the reader into the story, carries over as the reader is taken back out into the night of the neighborhood by the illustrations on the back end paper. The story is a wonderful selection to read and share. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—An assortment of evening lights is described in this beautifully illustrated picture book. A girl, her mother, and their dog spend a pleasant evening as they bicycle home from shopping, roast hot dogs over a grill on the porch, celebrate her birthday, run inside at the arrival of a summer storm, and get ready for bed. An appropriately dark palette complements the 15 types of illumination named in this nearly wordless story. Young children will enjoy poring over the rich details in the cozy charcoal and digital collage spreads as they learn to read the simple text, which includes terms such as "streetlight," "firelight," "firefly light," "candlelight," and "starlight." Match this book with some poems from Joan Bransfield Graham's Flicker Flash (Houghton, 1999) for a radiant storytime.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Kirkus Reviews
For this family of three-mother, daughter and pup-the everyday events of an evening take on special meaning in this debut author/illustrator's capable hands. A single word or two describing the lights that brighten the night determine each page's action. A streetlight illuminates the darkened cityscape as mother and child cycle home; firelight makes for a cozy backyard BBQ; a flashlight produces a shadow-puppet play. Gal cleverly weaves these intimate moments together to create a seamless bedtime story. The illustrations, done with a heavy oil crayon or chalk pastel-type texture in combination with cut and pasted photographic elements, are infused with an inviting warmth. Reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats, for the atmospheric collage work, and Margaret Bloy Graham, with a pooch that could double for Harry (whose story the girl reads in bed with her dog), the images manage to be both fresh and familiar. The many warm renderings of light-the glow from a reading light, the comfort of the night-light and the peacefulness of the moonlight-reveal the loveliness of a night spent with an affectionate family. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375858628
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 11/10/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,199,922
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Gal began her illustration career as a poster and calendar artist. She then worked as an “actor with a pencil” for Disney Animation before returning to her native California to create fun and whimsical illustrations. You can read more about Susan at www.galgirlstudio.com. This is her first picture book. She lives in Berkeley, California.
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