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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Blanche Hates the Night, written and illustrated by Sibylle Delacroix. Translated by Christelle Morelli. Owlkids, 2016. $16.95 ages 2 and up

"Blanche does not
like the night.
Actually, Blanche
hates the night!

So Blanche puts
on a concert to
chase away the moon
and wake up the sun."

Oh, I laughed out loud when I read this book for the first time! Blanche is like so many children who do not 'go gentle into that good night'. After all, the darkness and quiet can be quite frightening, right?

She is old enough to know that night follows day. She is not content to accept that as a given, and comes up with a number of scenarios which might possibly change the assumption. There are so many inventive ways to keep the dark at bay, if only her mother would allow it. They say good night, Mommy switches off the light and plunges Blanche's room into the blue-grey bleakness of bedtime. Eyes wide open, as are those belonging to her cat and her stuffed owl, Blanche is bent on remaining awake.

Mom is not so keen on the racket. Nor is her cat. Now she is alone with her owl, who is nocturnal after all. Singing is also not an option for her mother. A reminder that the night is for sleeping does not quiet the attempts to foil the darkness. Blanche is as persistent as her mother. Enough activity and an exhausted Blanche finally gives in to sleep. Another grand plan foiled by a toddler's lack of energy at the end of a long and busy day.

The lovely artwork, filled with gentle shadows and wide-eyed Blanche's lively antics, adds to the irresistible appeal of this bedtime book.

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