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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
You ever get so attached to an illustrator that they could be drawing stick figures on matchboxes and you'd still pay top dollar to look at `em? Yeah. So that's basically my attitude towards Yuyi Morales. She could draw images for Pictionary and I'd be all gaga over them. I can't help it. The woman has skills. I was wowed by her Pure Belpre Medal winning, Just a Minute and more than a tad impressed by the illustrations contributed to Los Gatos Black on Halloween. "Little Night," however, is a very rare critter; a bedtime picture book I actually like. Don't get me wrong. There are good bedtime stories out there in the world. I just happen to dislike a good 95% of them. They're either too treacly or too icky-cutesy. They try too hard and end up too earnest, or their tone is off and they simply don't read well to kids. "Little Night", exhibits none of these flaws. It's a tale as sweetly dark and tender-hearted as a warm hug on a summer night. The fact that it also happens to be beautiful to boot doesn't hurt things any either.

"In the flowered city there is an endless mother, giving and magnificent like the sky." These words come from Yuyi Morales's dedication to her mother, but she could well be talking about the mother in this book. Nighttime is drawing near and Mother Night needs to get her daughter Little Night out of bed and ready. Her small child, however, has other plans in mind. If Mama wants her to take a bath in a tub full of falling stars she'll need to play a little hide-and-seek by the rabbit holes first. And if Mama wants to dress Little Night in her gown crocheted from the clouds above, she may need to first peek inside the bats' cave to find her giggling child. On and on they go, with Mama preparing and Little Night hiding until at last it's time for the child to take her moon and bounce it high into the air.

I made the mistake of reading another review of this book before writing my own. Usually I try to avoid doing this because I have this fear that I'll somehow digest another person's words into my subconscious and end up parroting things they've already said. It's even worse, though, when someone comes up with a description of the book that you wish to high heaven you'd come up with. So with full credit going to Randall Enos of Booklist, one of the things I loved the most about Morales's art, were her, "rich jewel-tone colors." I mean, there's just no better way to describe them. These colors seep over the pages with deep reds, purples, and indigo blues. With her backgrounds in place, the pure white of the stars pierces the gloom just like Little Night's mischievous twinkling eyes. The exaggerated characters give the book a little extra added oomph too. I love how Mother Sky is this all expansive bell-shaped maternal figure. Her two braids curl delicately at their ends like the tip of a cat's tail and her tiny hands weave Little Night's hair into intricate braids, with three gleaming planets to hold it all in place.

In a way, you can read this book as a description of the way in which the sky changes in the evening. Falling stars and fading clouds at the start. Fireflies and the slow appearance of the Milky Way next. Finally the view of, "Venus on the east, Mercury on the west, and Jupiter above," with a thick round moon to cap it all off at the end. So lovely. Kids will also enjoy this book when they find that Little Night isn't just playing hide and go seek with her mother in these pages. She's playing with the reader as well. You can usually spot her, though, since her tiny white eyes sparkle like little stars wherever it is that she goes.

All told, the current crop of children's picture books the publishers are putting out there these days aren't exactly o'erflowing with Hispanic characters. You can find them if you need to, but sometimes it's nice to find a really high quality picture book containing characters that aren't whitey white white. It's nice too to see a book where the affection between the mother and the child feels genuine. I know The Runaway Bunny has its fans, but books like that one never really convince me that the mother in the story feels anything aside from an almost violent possessiveness towards her child. "Little Night," however, feels loving and warm. In short, perfect bedtime reading.

The obvious pairing with this book would have to be with Ana Juan's jaw-droppingly gorgeous, The Night Eater . Duh. The two picture books were darn well made for one another. But while one is about the fellow who eats away the night to make way for the dawn, the other is about the night going through an, ironically enough, wake-up routine at the close of day. Searching for a proper bedtime taleisn 't a difficult task in and of itself. It's nice, though, to find a book that is quite as touching, magical, and doggone adorable as this. Worth holding onto, tight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
It is common knowledge that Yuyi Morales is a color genius and a word magician, and with Little Night, she does it again. Yuyi's color palette is imaginative, unique and vibrant. Her colors are so deep. So sparkly. I am convinced they will glow in the dark if I were to turn off the light. I LOVE her combination of magenta and red with turquoise and purple.
her compositions are magical. My eye flows over the pages, dancing from one spread to the next.
Yuyi's text is lyrical and soothing, perfect for a bed-time story, yet the the STARS of this story are the characters. Mother Sky is warm, round, loving and nurturing. She's the type of mother I wish upon everyone.
Little Night is spirited, sweet and a mischievous. Their relationship is filled with emotion and tenderness.
I recommend Little Night to everyone. It's just the soothing, loving story kids need to fall into a peaceful sleep under the stars-Venus on the east, Maercury on the west, and Jupiter above!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Little Night, by Yuyi Morales, shines with hues of the colorful night sky. The story, about a little girl, the personification of night, who wakes up when the rest of the world goes to sleep will delight kids with it's topsy-turvy viewpoint. As Mother Sky plays a game of hide-n-seek with Little Night, the girl gets ready for her day...errr... her night. Charming story and gorgeous art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2009
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
When I say gorgeous, I don't mean it looks merely pretty, or even beautiful. I mean the colors are rich, the lines vivid, the faces real. I would say that the text is sweet, but that's like saying gold or honey is "kinda yellow". Honey isn't half as sweet as this book, anyway.

If you can only buy one bedtime book this year, make it this one. You won't regret it.
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on August 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Enchanting! This is everything a picture book for babies and toddlers and preschoolers should be! Mother Sky leads her daughter Little Night through her bedtime routine of taking a bath, putting on pajamas, brushing her hair, etc. But it's Mother Sky, so Little Night bathes in falling stars, dresses in clouds, and gets stars in her hair. Little Night hides at each step along the way, telling her mama that she'll have to find her first. And, of course, Mama finds Little Night each time.

As always, Yuyi Morales' illustrations are magical. I tried to describe them for this review, but words fail! This is a book that belongs with Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny.

(Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher at an American Library Association Annual Conference. I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you, Roaring Brook Press!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A lovely story about a special little girl and her mommy, with gorgeous, peaceful illustrations. A perfect bedtime story.
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on January 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Award-winning author and artist Yuyi Morales presents Little Night, an imaginative picturebook about Mother Sky and her rambunctious daughter Little Night, anthropomorphized as an African-American family. Mother Sky chases her playful daughter across the heavens in a celestial game of hide-and-seek; at last she finds her child and gently combs her hair. "Mother Sky sits Little Night on her lap and with her shiny comb she untangles the knots, twists the hair between her fingers, and makes little swirls, one on the left side, one on the right. To keep them in place she takes three hairpins from her pocket. 'Venus on the east, Mercury on the west, and Jupiter above.'" A creative storybook ideal for reading to young girls right before bedtime, the better to foster sweet dreams.
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on January 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book has been a regular favorite in our bedtime ritual for my almost 2 year old daughter.

I was first drawn to Little Night for its wonderful illustrations, but soon found myself loving the prose just as much. The "hide and seek" aspect of the book gives us a fun yet mellow activity at bedtime and allows the child to participate in the story. A clever and beautiful twist on the tale of mother nature, and a joy to share with little ones.
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on March 12, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Yuyi Morales is an amazing story teller, illustrator and creator of magic! She does it once again with this starry tale of Little Night and Mother Sky. The playfulness and joy of Little Night hiding from her Mother Sky is sweet and loving. Yuyi's art, as always, is rich and emotional.
Must read, must have, must think of it every time you look at the night sky....
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on March 19, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This was the first book I decided to buy just because of the illustrations, not even wanting to look in the text!
Yuyi Morales is a brilliant artist, and I'm her big fan now.
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