Tuesday, September 01, 2015
Night Animals by Gianna Marino
This comical story starts when Skunk finds Possum hiding from noisy night animals lurking in the dark. Possum quickly shushes Skunk and pulls him into the hollow tree stump when they hear the approach of a large animal. As they head out in search of a roomier place to hide, they are startled by the arrival of a panicked Wolf shouting for help. So startled in fact that Skunk releases his scent and Possum starts playing possum. It seems Wolf is also seeking protection from a night animal even larger than himself. Next on the scene is Bear who is sure that something huge is following him. It's not until Bat appears as a shadow across the sky, informing the gang that they are in fact all night animals themselves, that logic is restored. However there is one last nocturnal surprise lurking in the dark woods.
The cover of this book is what really drew me in. The overly exaggerated, petrified look on Possum's face piqued my interest. Marino's expertly constructed pictures set against a midnight black background helps set the eerie tone of the story. The text is displayed in large speech bubbles, making it easy for children to follow along. Night Animals by Gianna Marino is the perfect pick for a nighttime read-aloud or a storytime featuring nocturnal animals.
For other picture books featuring nocturnal animals, be sure to check out While the World Is Sleeping by Pamela Edwards and Oliver's Wood by Sue Hendra.