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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Way Home in the Night, by Akiko Miyakoshi. Kids Can Press, 2017. $18.95 ages 3 and up

"Most of our neighbors
are already home.
I can see their lights
in the windows.

I hear a phone ring.
Who is calling?

Mmm ...
It smells like pie."

It is SOOO quiet as mother and her youngster make their way home along dark city streets. As they go, the child notices what is happening around them - the everyday events that often bring a close to the day. The two walk until they meet up with father who then walks along with them, and is there to tuck the young miss into bed.

Once warm and prepared for sleeping, she begins to wonder about the many scenes observed, and even plays out some of them in her mind for what might have happened after they passed by.

"Is the person on the phone getting ready for bed?

Maybe the cook from the restaurant is taking a bath,

and the bookseller is reading on the couch."

Do you ever find yourself doing the same thing? I love to sit on a bench and watch passersby, and wonder what their story is. Sometimes, I dream up a story for them. Certainly, we can ask our listeners to imagine the same things, and even write about it.

For this tiny rabbit, comfort comes in knowing that, at the end of the day, 'we all go home to bed.'

Using varying perspectives and an urban environment at dusk, the reader sees through the young one's eyes and is made a keen observer for all that is happening in the neighborhood. Using charcoal, acrylic gouache and pencil on textured paper ensures that readers feel the warmth in the lights and the bunny's bedroom as she readies herself for slumber.

There is mystery in the darkness and wonder, too. It's a perfect bedtime story.

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