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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Night Animals, written and illustrated by Gianna Marino. Viking, Penguin. 2015. $19.99 ages 3 and up

"What are we hiding

"Night animals!
Now keep QUIET!"

"Can you move

Sigh ... "Let's find
somewhere else."

There is not a lot to read here, and that is its charm!

Why is Possum hiding, Skunk wonders. Possum is quick to explain that she is hiding from the 'night animals' and she wants Skunk to be quiet and hide with her. It's a surprise to both when Wolf comes near, calling for help because he is being chased. Scared, Skunk does what skunks do and sends Possum into a faint with the scent that is released. Then, it's Bear who's scared of a HUGE follower. Can it be a night animal?

Thankfully, a young bat restores order with the fact that all those concerned are NIGHT animals! What a surprise!

While the text is just exactly the right number of words to capture the intended audience's attention, the art moves us along at a fast pace. From the tiny possum to the huge bear, the eyes grow bigger and the terror more palpable. The dark, dark background allow readers to see each of the night animals clearly.

Reading it aloud requires voice changes and a sense of silliness. The speech bubbles give readers clues for the  telling, and afford interpretation that will have listeners squealing in delight. Skunk's incessant use of his scent and Possum's feigning death make it even funnier.

Get your flashlight and read it in a darkened room. It's sure to be a forever favorite!

Psst! Don't miss the flipside of the jacket cover ... even more fun for all.                                                                        

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