“A visually appealing work that lap readers will want to look at again and again.”
NIGHT CRITTERS PLAY
BY EESSEBOE KWAMI NYAMIDIE ; ILLUSTRATED BY PAMELA CHRISTIANSEN ‧ RELEASE DATE: OCT. 5, 2021
Nocturnal creatures explore their dark habitats in this illustrated poem.
The moon and the Milky Way look down at some birds and other “critters” waking up for the night. Owls, frogs, and crickets make sounds, while armadillos, hedgehogs, and porcupines enjoy a time when they’re safe from predators: “They don’t know the reason, it’s just Nature’s way.” But soon, a lion’s roar and crocodile’s bark announce that morning is near, and the nighttime animals retreat to their daytime homes. Nyamidie’s poetry generally scans well, and some phrases are wonderfully lyrical: “The Milky Way loses all her freckles. / The drowsy leopard stretches her speckles.” Some stanzas switch the pattern, however, making it hard to find end rhymes; parents may need to read the book aloud a few times before finding the rhythm for bedtime reading. Christiansen’s gorgeously layered monotype prints evoke the mysterious nighttime world; her owl against the Milky Way could easily be a framed print. Young listeners and newly independent readers will find fun new vocabulary words, both in the poetry (anthems, moon-banished) and in the context of natural science (on the first page, a “pupa curls up in her cozy cocoon”).
A visually appealing work that lap readers will want to look at again and again.