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Monday, August 3
The Night World
Written and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein
My rating: ★★
Publisher: Little, Brown
Date of publication: June 16, 2015
Age: 3 - 6 years
Themes: night, sunrise, light, color, exploration
Everyone in the house is sleeping, but outside, the night world is wide-awake. It's a wonderful night to explore! Sylvie the cat wakes up her boy and takes him into the night where the flowers have lost their color and the animals eagerly await the arrival of...what? What's coming? It's almost here!
This has been on some Caldecott watch lists, which is why I originally picked it up. However, I am not a fan. Neither the illustrations nor the story impressed me. In fact, in came off a bit creepy and weird. The animals—which are only dark silhouettes, since it is nighttime—gather outside, each murmuring and whispering "it's coming!" white the cat leads the boy to who knows where (see where the creepy element comes in?). I didn't appreciate the talking animals. The ending (don't worry, it's not actually scary) was satisfying, but didn't make up for the rest of the weird story.
The illustrations are...unique. It is reminiscent of Flashlight, which was on the mock Caldecott lists last year, with the world in the black silhouettes of night. But at least Flashlight looked like the illustrator tried. Gerstein's illustrations just feel lazy and rushed. It's sloppy in a non-artistic sort of way. Especially when compared to his previous Caldecott-winning book. Basically, I was not impressed in the least. Some may feel different, but to each their own.
If you really want to, find it at your library or on Amazon