There is no night so dark, so black as night in the country,"" begins this quiet, lyric text about what goes on outside when people living in the country are tucked into their beds. Against a rich midnight-blue sky, readers see owls ""with marble eyes"" swooping among the trees, and hear a hushed song of night noises: the ""reek, reek, reek"" of frogs; a screen door creaking; the ""pump!"" of an apple falling from a tree; the patter of rabbits as they make their way into your yard to eat the apples (""But only when they think you are asleep""); and the groans, thumps and squeaks that houses make when they are trying to sleep. Baby raccoons and a calf snuggle up to their mothers, and a sleeping pig rolls over in the barn. And then the sky lightens; brilliant yellows and oranges appear on the horizon as a bird flies through the air, bringing the message that night in the country is almost over. Animal time gives way to people time, and we're told that the night creatures ""will spend a day in the country listening to you."" Rylant's comforting text seems written to be read in a whisper, and will help lull little ones to sleep. The deep colors of Szilagyi's paintings--the green of the grass, the red of the apples, the orange-gold of the hay in the barn--are beautiful. And she does a wonderful job depicting shadows.