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Nightsong Hardcover – September 25, 2012
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"Chiro is both alien and us, bat and beyond, childlike and knowing, a savant and anyone who grows into his/her song. This is what a picture book should be." -- Jane Yolen, bestselling author of How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?
"An ideal book for sending a child to school for the first time, tryouts for a team or a class play...[t]his lyrical, sumptuous picture book about a small bat taking his first solo night flight will inspire confidence in any child trying something new--and independently--for the first time."
-- Shelf Awareness
* "Exquisite design coupled with evocative illustrations enrich this charming tale of a little bat taking his first solo flight and how he learns to “see” with his “good sense,” otherwise known as echolocation.... Young ones will relate to Chiro and cheer as he gains confidence with his newfound skill and will be deeply satisfied flying along on his sensory-rich journey."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"There is nothing at all cute about bats, but don’t tell that to the talented Long...who has managed in the past to make even a tractor endearing.... Berk’s able storytelling enriches and elaborates...a message about making your way in the world. Even when you're completely in the dark." (The New York Times Book Review )
"Ari Berk's (The Secret History of Mermaids) lyrical text and Loren Long's acrylic-and-graphite nightscapes re-imagine the classic tale of a young one leaving its nest as a journey of not only independence but also of creativity.... This lyrical, sumptuous picture book about a small bat taking his first solo night flight will inspire confidence in any child trying something new--and independently--for the first time." (Shelf Talker )
Top Customer Reviews
The part I take issue with is that Chiro's mother also told him to come home after eating breakfast and to not go past the pond "unless your song is sure." Well, after he gets full he sings his loudest and goes over the ocean for a bit and then decides to go home. My kids (5 and 4) were confused as to why he kept going past the pond when his mother told him to come home, and I had to explain about his "song being sure." That's fine... but there was no story development after that. The author has a very poetic style of writing and his description of the ocean song, so to speak, was lovely... but sort of anticlimactic. Chiro just wanted to explore, which is also just fine. Again, this spurred more questions from my kids, "Why didn't she want him to go past the pond? Is it dangerous out there?" Didn't seem to be. It was just his first time out by himself and she wanted him home soon. Kids are used to stories like "Peter Rabbit" where mothers have clear rules for clear reasons. But again... it's fine.
It would be helpful for a child to have some understanding of bats and how they "see" prior to reading this story. National Geographic Kids has a great one about Bats. "Hello, Bumblebee Bat" by Darrin Lunde is also an excellent choice.
This is an absolutely gorgeously illustrated book about a little bat who goes out by himself for the first time using his "good sense" to see in the dark. While the story is completely cute and fictional it also manages to convey exactly how echolocation works for bats. The background of the pages are all black and textured, as if they represented the bat's hair. The bats in the story are brown bats though and contrast well against the black background. Fabulous, adorable illustrations! Chiro, the little bat is so cute! The story is a nature adventure as Chiro discovers his nighttime world and it is a story of a mother's love as she sends her son off on his own but is waiting for him with arms wide open when he returns. Oversized, thick glossy pages, a quality book!
|Length: 6:05 Mins|
The artwork is mostly blacks and dark grays, because it all takes place at night. At first Chiro, the baby bat, can't see very much at all because he's seeing with his eyes. But then his mom teaches him how to use his sense, and the world opens up to him.
And that's where it comes back to the artwork. I think it would be extremely hard to draw a whole book about the blackness of the night, and make it so it's just not a bunch of black pages. Long is adept with working with the blacks and dark grays and making the night come to life in what first looks very minimalist.
+Great, touching, heartwarming story
+Extremely high quality book
+The bats are very cute, with adorable floppy ears
-A bunch of dark artwork might not be for everyone, but it was for me
The premise/plot of the book, from which the title is derived, is this: Chiro (like chiro-ptera, get it?) is afraid to leave the cave on his own, because it's dark and he can't see well. His mother tells him to use his voice to "sing" out to the world, and the world will "sing" back. Sure enough, he is able to find his way by listening to the "songs" of the objects and animals in his flightpath, and he grows more confident. After finding all the bugs he can eat, he explores until night ends and it's time to return to the cave. The text never uses the term "echolocation", but the principle is clearly and beautifully described.
This is a gorgeous book! My son and I discovered it shortly after he turned three, but I'd recommend it for any child who enjoys picture books. Also good for growing readers as there is a varied and moderately difficult vocabulary.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful gift for my nieces. Bats are so very important, the more we spread the news the better the bats can be.Published 22 days ago by Sachiko
I love the 1 on 1 time i get with my kids when I read to them, but if I'm being really honest - it usually feels like a chore. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Matt
My 4 year old daughter loves this book. A brilliant book to read before the big step of starting school.Published 9 months ago by Tessa Vermillion
Love this book! Much better value than Barnes & Noble.
Whenever ordering books from Amazon though, they arrive feeling "wet" or as if at some point there was water... Read more
A lovely books - a piece of art - my daughter loves it! We also have a toy. This was a very good gift idea!Published 11 months ago by Abdugafur
This book is absolutely beautiful. You know how some books just feel magical to read, making you want to read them slowly to absorb them? This is one of them.Published 12 months ago by Christi Bigony