While this book isn’t super recent (published in 2012), I had never heard of it and really enjoyed stumbling upon it in the bookstore. Nightsong is a picture book with unique illustrations telling the story of a bat named Chiro that finally gets the courage to leave his cave and the adventures he encounters.
I love the message of this story – being brave to try new things. I think this is a good message for children who may be very attached to their parents and are scared to try new things without their parents help. It shows the good things that can come out of being bold and brave, while also putting an emphasis on the comfort and warmth that a mother gives her child.
But by far the most impressive aspect of this book are the illustrations that I mentioned earlier. The most notable aspect would be the distinct contrast between the light and dark, light representing bravery and courage and the dark representing fright and the unknown. When Chiro is with his mother he can see the light, but when he first ventures off everything is dark and he is scared. But when he starts using his sense and gathers his courage, color starts appearing in the pictures. By the end Chiro’s entire world is in color. The illustrations go along very well with the plot. I can’t tell exactly what medium Long used, (it sort of looks like oil pastel and colored pencils) but I like the detail that he used.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and think that it is a great book for children to read alone or with their parents. It leaves a child with a great message!