Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Favorite Picture Books: At Night

At Night by Jonathan Bean

Almost nothing happens in this story. A young girl can't sleep until she drags her pillow and blankets up to her roof. That's it.

But it's so lovely.

Her family lives in the city. Their roof is a place of family, with a clothesline, a table, a garden full of growing plants (flowering and fruiting). I can easily imagine Second Daughter quietly sneaking all of her bedding up to a rooftop garden to snuggle in her own world in the dark of night.

The illustrations of the roof and city are wonderful, but I most love the illustrations of the river and trees and sky. 
She lay in her bed on her house in the city, in the night, under the sky.
She thought about the wide world all around her and smiled.
Aren't those two lines delightful? They're spread over three perfectly illustrated pages.

In the end, as she's sleeping peacefully, her mother sits beside her in the night. That moment is so precious. Her hand is resting on the girl, protectively, but she is gazing up at the moon as if she's discovered something lovely for herself in her little girl's search.

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