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One Dark Night Hardcover – May 21, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (May 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670892467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670892464
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,240,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2-As a thunderstorm approaches, Jonathan looks out his window and observes a stray cat. Believing that the animal is afraid of the storm, he runs downstairs to let her in. The feline dashes in, deposits a kitten on the rug, and darts back into the rain. While Jonathan and his grandparents worry about caring for the little creature, the mother cat returns twice more with her babies before settling down for the night. The heart of this story is its illustrations, created by the manipulation of oil-paint glazes. Hartung's blotting technique provides contrast between a complex detailed background and the simple drawings of people and animals in the foreground. This contrast and the opposition of the dark night and the well-lit house reduce any fear children might have about the storm. Hutchins combines familiar elements with the mood created by the art to craft a pleasant story that will appeal to young readers. Children will share Jonathan's concern for the cats and will take comfort in the story's resolution. A wonderful read-aloud selection.

Shara Alpern, Chappaqua Public Library, NY

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 3-7. A summer storm is approaching, and Jonathan is glad he's inside with his grandparents. But outside, a stray cat seeks shelter for her kittens. One by one she carries them to the house, but when the storm hits, Jonathan must help. Finally, safe and cozy, Jonathan and the feline family sleep, under the reassuring watch of the boy's grandparents. Simple, lyrical prose conveys the intensity and sometimes spookiness of thunderstorms, where "lightning splits the sky with wild, white brightness" and rain "pounds into the grass like something angry." The evocative, textured oil paintings have wonderful depth, effectively playing shadows against light, illuminating details and contrasting moods. Outdoor scenes, awash in dark blue and gray hues, are often framed with silhouettes of recognizable objects; indoors, rooms are warm and glowing. Alternating perspectives add further drama and intimacy. The dark, Gothic-looking book jacket implies mystery, but the story itself is about the welcome comfort of safe havens, for humans and animals alike. Shelle Rosenfeld
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
When young Jonathan opens the door of his grandparents' home on a dark and stormy night, he finds a stray cat that he thinks is afraid of the thunder. His grandmother, on the other hand, doesn't believe that cats fear thunder - she thinks the cat is trying to bring in a mouse.
Before grandmother or grandfather can stop her, stray cat has lain her surprise on the rug. It isn't a mouse at all but a tiny kitten, "soft as whispers, gray as dawn."
One small kitten isn't the only surprise stray cat has for Jonathan in this warm story of parental devotion and caring.
Illustrator Susan Kathleen Hartung used oil paint glazes on sealed paper to create memorable illustrations of rain washed darkness broken by the welcoming lights of a home.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Whitt on April 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My four-year-old son loves this book. It has three elements he thinks are great: grandparents, cats, and a storm. The illustrations are very well done and give you a feeling of the storm. My son particularly loves the counting in the book to determine distance as you are seeing the lightning and listening to the thunder race ever closer while the mother cat tries to save her kittens from the oncoming storm.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The copy I purchased was an old library copy still in fine condition. The book is so great, both my kids love it and so do the neighbors kids (age range 4-9). I love it too, it has a way of making a thunderstorm something miraculous! Highly recommend!
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