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The Night Eater (Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award) Hardcover – October 1, 2004

8 customer reviews

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The Turnip
The Turnip
Jan Brett brings an original twist to a favorite folktale. Snow covers the farm as badgers and friends in old-fashioned clothes, and bears marching through bright-colored borders, send young readers laughing from page to page. Hardcover | Kindle book

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2 - The Night Eater follows the moon at "the edge of every day," consuming the darkness. He is a cheerful, cherubic creature, sporting a sleeping cap and a tied-on nose folded out of red construction paper. With a gleam in his eyes, he gobbles up "every kind of night: cloudy nights as light and sweet as cotton candy and deep black nights that tasted like bitter chocolate." However, when the moon makes a rude comment about his increasing size (he is literally bursting at the seams), the wounded Night Eater stops eating. At first, people are delighted to discover some of the treasures of nighttime, such as nocturnal animals and flowers that bloom in the dark. But soon it gets cold, the moon grows weary, and the sun becomes restless. Fortunately, the Night Eater doesn't take much convincing to go back to his ways, and all is well. The sense of magic realism in this story is matched in Juan's richly colored acrylic-and-wax paintings. The pages are filled with appealing denizens of day and night, both real and imaginary. This delightful tale will definitely appeal to children's imaginations. - Robin L. Gibson, formerly at Perry County District Library, New Lexington, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 2. A little boy with a fake beaked nose, a pink stocking cap, and a mischievous look ushers children into this dreamy fantasy. The child is the Night Eater, and each night he gobbles the darkness. Juan's evocative text describes cloudy nights as light as cotton candy and deep black nights like bitter chocolate. A fantastical spread shows the sun feeding light to a string of creatures as the Night Eater withdraws. So night follows the day--until the moon notes that the Night Eater has put on weight, and the Night Eater, infuriated, decides never to eat another bite. The ensuing chaos opens the way for marvelously surrealistic paintings of people moving through their days in the dark and crying children waiting for the sun. Juan, who illustrated Jonah Winter's Frida (2002), uses a similar style here. Rounded shapes, floating images, and star-shine hues make his pictures even more delicious. In a happy ending, the Night Eater resumes his munching, leading to gloriously colored scenes as the sun breaks through. An unusual, enchanting blend of sophistication and simple storytelling. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Series: Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439488915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439488914
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 12.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #861,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bibliotekaria on November 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Night Eater does a faithful job of consuming each night to make way for the break of day, taking special pleasure in consuming foggy clouds like cotton candy and the dark ones that taste like rich chocolate. An offhand remark from Moon about Night Eater's plump figure causes him to go on a diet and refuse to take one more bite of the night. Darkness ensues along with all its consequences.

This is a beautiful, whimsical tale that is greatly enriched by Ana Juan's divine illustrations. My personal favorite shows the Sun greeting a variety of creatures to wish each one a good morning.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I review so many picture books for children that after a while it becomes difficult to separate the books that I think are "good" from those that I think are "spectacular". I tend to gush over good books. I'm a gusher. But once in a while I hit upon a book, author, or illustrator that is so original and engaging that it is all I can do not to sing their praises in a never ending burst of la-la-las. Ana Juan is one such artist. I'd loved her picture book biography of Friday Kahlo ("Frida" by Jonah Winter) and her illustrations for "Elena's Serenade" by Campbell Geeslin were awe-inspiring. Still, nothing completely worked perfectly well until Ms. Juan came out with "The Night Eater". A kind of commedia dell-arte for the kiddies (complete with a "Harlequin"-like protagonist) the story is a sweet little fable with pictures so jaw-droppingly engaging that I've had hard-core teenagers cooing over the colors. And what greater enticement can I give you than that, I might ask?

The story stars a plump little long-eyelashed fellow eternally clothed in soft pink long-johns, a matching pink nightcap with an iridescent light at its tip, and a red pointed nose that ties nicely onto his face. This would be The Night Eater, and his job is to munch and devour the night-time so that the day can dawn everywhere. Wherever the Night Eater runs (and one assumes that he runs eastwards) that is where the sun comes up. One day though it becomes clear that The Night Eater has eaten so much night that the buttons on his long-johns are fit to burst. The moon mocks his plump status and in a huff our hero refuses to eat any more night. Initially the perpetual darkness amuses the people of the world and they explore the "nocturnal animals and perfumed flowers, whose petals opened only at night".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on January 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Night Eater has a very important job. He goes around every night snacking on the starts to make room for his friend the sun. Things are good until one day the moon makes the comment that the Night eater is getting a little too large!! This hurts his feelings and so he stops eating the night time stars. Will things ever be the same? What will happen if there is no room in sky for the sun? Read The Night Eater to find out!

.The book had an interesting story line. The illustrations were whimsical and fun to look at.

I would recommend this book. My family and I read it together as a bedtime tale. All members of the family, from my little sister to my grandparents enjoyed the short story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Cho on June 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Our 2-year-old daughter loves this book. She thinks the Night Eater has a carrot for a nose and gets very excited pointing at the "big moon face!" and the "little moon face!"

I, too, love this book. Ana Juan's illustrations delight the eye with delicious colors and wonderful, quirky details. Her writing is equally strong. The story is short, yet Juan's prose is elegant and engaging.

Most importantly, the story is original and entertaining. One can imagine that some ancient people might have believed in the Night Eater. It's a charming story beautifully presented.
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