Communities across the United States and Canada dance, play, and tell stories under the same stars.
In this colorful smorgasbord of evening-centered tidbits, prolific illustrator Lessac describes some of the celebrations that take place after sundown in North America. Amid bustling scenes featuring multiracial faces, Lessac highlights events such as bat-watching on Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge (home to “over 1.5 million bats…which migrate each spring from Mexico”), Toronto’s food-laden night markets, Washington, D.C.’s “spectacular” Fourth of July fireworks on the National Mall, and “gliding across the ice” in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Information about the science, geography, or history of each setting or celebration is peppered in the pictures’ negative spaces, drawing the eye around the full-bleed paintings. A somewhat dense collection of Milky Way galaxy facts as well as a quick guide to locating the North Star make up the backmatter. Included in Lessac’s survey are brightly positive treatments of two controversial observances: the telescopes erected on Mauna Kea (a site of yearslong protests by Native Hawaiians against the desecration of their sacred mountain) and the rodeo of Prescott, Arizona, (events that are often cited for animal cruelty). Readers may recognize Lessac’s formula from the simultaneously released title, Under the Southern Cross, which highlights the evening celebrations of Australia and makes only a passing mention of its Aboriginal peoples’ traditions.
A sparkling concept executed with a few glaring flaws. (Informational picture book. 5-10)