About the book:
When Skunk asks Possum why he’s hiding, he sets off a chain reaction of animals scared of sounds in the night. Even Wolf and Bear are sure something’s out there. And what is that something? asks Bat. “Night Animals!” reply the animals. “But you ARE night animals,” states Bat. And the animals sheepishly realize they’ve been running away from each other. But then a new night animal sets them off running again: Humans!
Here’s an adorable and very silly spin on a bedtime book that is sure to leave kids giggling their nighttime fears away.
My thoughts on the book:
Over the course of a year, I read a lot of picture books. Some are sad. Some are funny. Some are silly. Some make you cry. And some really stand out from all of the rest. Six months ago I read the folded & gathered (F&G) of Night Animals. On GoodReads, I rated it 5-stars. Recently, I read Night Animals again, and I would still give it 5-stars. It really is that good.
First, I love the beautiful illustrations in this book. From listening to illustrators talk about their work, I know that black backgrounds can be difficult to print, which makes me appreciate that nearly every page in this book has a solid black background. The choice of background allows each animal to stand out and nearly pop off the page.
Next, I adore the animals in this story. Quickly, readers will discover that this is a fairly paranoid, but silly group of woodland creatures. Young readers may not fully grasp the humor behind the humor at first but through the text and illustrations, they will understand that these animals are pretty goofy.
Also, I suspect that small children will find humor and take comfort in the fact that some of the largest creatures in the woods are also the ones that are most afraid of the dark or of what is out there.
After a lot of panic and fear on the part of the animals, one small bat sets them all straight in a matter a fact manner. Below is one of my favorite pages - the bat hanging from the tree with the huge moon in the background.
I wondered a little if the bat feels more exasperated as he watches all of the animals be so silly. And just to clear things up, the bat states "But you ARE night animals."
Though I don't want to ruin the surprise at the end of the book, I suspect that children will love the twist at the conclusion of the book. If you are a parent, prepare to read this one at bedtime over and over again.
Look for Night Animals at your local indie bookstore or public library.
About the author:
Gianna Marino was born in San Francisco and spent her early years galloping horses through Golden Gate Park. Gianna had several jobs at once: apprenticing a muralist, a jewelry designer, a product designer and driving horse carriages through the park. Between projects and then college, Gianna visited West, East and North Africa, India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Bhutan, China, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Noumea, crewed on sailboats in Mexico and the Caribbean and lived in Europe for a time. She now lives and works in the Napa Valley and still gallops on horses. You can find Gianna on her website: www.giannamarino.com