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At Night Hardcover – July 24, 2007

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K—This quiet book tells the story of a city girl who can't sleep. When she feels a breeze blow in through her open window, she gathers pillows, her blanket, and the family cat and follows the wind up to the roof of her building. She doesn't realize that her mother is also awake and is trailing her up the stairs. On the rooftop, the child snuggles into a bed made of two chairs pulled together and contemplates the wide world and the open sky, eventually falling asleep. The final scene shows her mother, sitting next to her and thoughtfully gazing at the full moon. The watercolor illustrations, some full-page, some panels, perfectly depict the shadows, darkness, and light of the slumbering city. The volume's small size makes it most appropriate for sharing one-to-one.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In a dark house, a girl lies awake while her family sleeps. Then a breeze floats through a window, and she follows it through her room, up a staircase, and onto a rooftop garden, where she makes a nest of chairs, pillows, and blankets, and finally falls asleep under a starry sky. Illustrator Bean makes his authorial debut in this quiet story that mixes a touch of whimsy with a meditative sense of calm. The spare sentences have a lulling rhythm that echo the words' soothing references to breath and breeze, while the silvery, ink-and-watercolor pictures add a quiet drama. Frames resembling movie stills zoom in on the solitary, small girl in the big room, and then zoom out in expansive aerial views as the girl gains a comforting sense of "the wide world all around her." Kids will recognize the girl's thrill in her small, private adventure, even as they're deeply reassured when Mom appears and sits with her sleeping daughter. Pair this peaceful, moonlit offering with Elisha Cooper's A Good Night Walk (2005). Engberg, Gillian
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); First Edition edition (July 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374304467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374304461
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.4 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the best examples of a story that has the child's eye. The engaging story that ends up on a roof top will be a mirror for children who live in an urban setting. For children who live outside of the city limits, Bean has created a welcome and refreshing introduction to the glorious aspects of being a city dweller. Mutliple readings will enable children to see new details and make fresh connections by viewing the flawless illustrations. This book will make a rich addition to any child's library. Highly recommended for school and classroom libraries!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay, so maybe I'm biased because we were in the same classes in college and worked together in the library there...he's just an great person outside of his talent...but this book is beautiful and classic. His writing is thoughtful and poetic and his drawings clearly communicate his quiet love for family and the simple things. I find that there is something in the stories and drawings that bring me back to my own memories of childhood and family. Just lovely.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is fun for those children who don't live in the city and wonder how children can have a fun time sleeping under the stars on a hot summer night. The pictures have just enough detail to be interesting without distracting from the story.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a gentle, sweet bedtime story--with some of the most beautiful illustrations I've ever seen in a children's book. Also, the book is exactly the right lenght for my three year old daughter. She adores this book--as do I.
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Format: Hardcover
Her family is asleep, but she’s too restless. What’s a city girl to do? Go up to the roof, of course, with blanket and pillow. Soft, still, lovely, peaceful. We have checked this out from the library multiple times.
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Format: Hardcover
Bean, Jonathan. At Night. Illus. by author. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

A young child can't sleep one night so she follows a soft breeze up to the roof of her apartment building and tries to sleep there. This simple plot is beautifully imagined in lovely watercolor illustrations that capture ordinary scenes and imbue them with a quiet and serene aura. In a series of poignant images the parents put their children to bed, the father carries a baby while another child holds her mother's hand and is pulled along running, and then they stand together in a bedroom doorway, the mother has her arms wrapped around the dad's waist, as they whisper, "Good night, happy dreams!" to the little girl. Although her room is dark and quiet, the little girl lies in her bed with her eyes wide open "listening to her family sleep" until a breeze stirs the curtains in her room, "blowing over the windowsill, it sank to the floor, drifted over her feet". Brown, orange and blue colors infuse these contemplative scenes with warmth and an old fashioned feel. Simple black lines outline color drenched figures and convey remarkably affecting expressions. A double spread near the end of the book shows the little girl resting peacefully in her makeshift bed that she has created from two chairs and a pile of bedding with her black cat sitting atop her comforter; her mother sits on the bed holding a steaming cup and gazing at the moon. The attractive colorful and detailed cover that shows the little girl and her mother on the roof against a tranquil early evening skyline -the mother is hanging laundry and the little girl is watering plants- hints robustly of the visual treats within. This small format book in which the illustrations take center stage is a little gem that is perfect for sharing with a preschool child at bedtime.
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Format: Hardcover
A soft story, simply told, accentuated with watercolor illustrations, and perfectly sized for bedtime at 7.5 x 7.5. The opening scene is the rooftop of an apartment building with bedsheets hanging on the line, potted plants scattered around, and a setting of table and chairs at which sits a little girl, reading, and a contented cat. That night when her siblings and parents go to bed, the little girl is wide awake. When a soft breeze blows through her window, she gathers her pillow and blankets, goes up to the roof, and pushes two chairs together to make a bed. Her mother hears her get up, and follows close behind. When the little girl falls asleep in her rooftop bed, the mother brings up a cup of coffee and sits by her daughter, enjoying the moment in the presence of the full moon. There are many delightful details to look at in the illustrations, inviting the reader to revisit this book again and again.
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