Marvelous New Picture Books: The Night World


The Night World is written and illustrated by the Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein. The book is about a little boy and his cat exploring the world at night. The book begins with a little boy asleep in his bed. His cat Sylvie comes over to wake him up.Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 8.56.51 PM.png


“It’s too late Sylvie… or is it too early?”


The little boy and his cat begin their adventure into the night. As they pass through the kitchen, everyone else in the house is asleep, including the goldfish. But when they walk outside, there is a whole different world. Everything is made up of gray shadows and all of the animals are awake. The animals await the morning sunrise as they say, “It’s on it’s way!” As morning approaches and the sun begins to rise, the beautiful illustrations turn from shades of gray to bright colors. All of the animals go to sleep as the little boy and Sylvie start their day. The little boy exclaims, “Good morning everyone, it’s going to be a beautiful day.”Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 9.07.58 PM.png

The author’s inspiration for the book is noted on the book jacket. When he was four years old, he woke up in the night and called for his dad to take him to the bathroom. When he looked outside the window, the backyard didn’t look the same. He asked his father, “where’s the backyard?” His father replied, “you’re looking at it”.

Gerstein’s illustrations are made of pen, ink, colored pencils, and acrylics. The illustrations cross a two-page spread and draw the reader in. The cover is mysterious and leaves children wondering what the little boy and his cat are looking at outside the window. The story is relatable for children as children many times wonder what happens outside during the night or love to watch the sun rise in the morning. As a little girl, I remember waking up early when it was still dark and jumping out of bed to watch the sunrise with my dad. This story is meaningful to me because it reminds me of my childhood. This is a must read for children and adults alike.

-Emily Thermos

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