From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4-During his countryside explorations, a boy gathers treasures such as a nail, stone, and feather, which he places in his pouch. As the sun sets, he hurries toward home, but he hears clicking and rustling sounds behind him. His imagination conjures up creatures that are ever more frightening until he races to escape the sharp-clawed Night Walker, stumbles, falls down, and eventually sleeps. When he returns home the following day, his mother speculates that the sounds had come from the treasure pouch. The boy remains uncertain. Springett's panoramic color illustrations are particularly effective in evoking the creatures that the boy conjures up. Fox, panther, and bear give way to a huge bird that fills the sky. Although no source notes indicate a tie to folk literature, the mother and son appear to be Native American. The suspenseful tone relieved by a logical explanation and the sweeping art recall an earlier Thompson-Springett collaboration, The Follower (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2000). This time, however, Springett uses more color, and the ending is a bit more ambiguous. The combination of large, intriguing illustrations and an air of mystery offers read-aloud and discussion potential.Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
K-Gr. 3. With his walking stick and pouch for found treasures, a boy explores the woods around his home. He finds a beautiful rock, coins, and a wonderful piece of wood. Suddenly, it's starting to get dark. As he heads home, he hears "a clinking sound, / a clicking sound, / a rustling sound . . . / very close by" that starts when he walks and stops when he stops. What could it be? A fox? A bear? Maybe it's the fearful Night Walker of "never-go-out-in-the-night-alone" stories. Even when the boy is finally back home with his mother, and the source of the noise seems simply explained, he still wonders. Though not identified as such, this lyrical book has the look and feel of an Indian legend brought into recent times, and it works as both an intriguing mystery and a sympathetic picture of night fears. The narrative effectively employs repetition and alliteration, which add suspense, and lovely, textured, earth-toned art blends realism, abstract forms, and changing perspectives to show how imagination can create, interpret, and even exaggerate the ordinary into extraordinary. Try this as a dramatic read-aloud for an older storytime crowd. Shelle RosenfeldCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved