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A Glow-in-the-Dark Search

by Geoffrey Hayes & illustrated by Geoffrey Hayes

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-86926-6
Publisher: Random House

When Bunny announces that he cannot sleep because “[t]here’s too much dark at night,” he and Papa go off on the subtitle’s promised “Glow-in-the-Dark Search” for the perfect night-light.

The text presents a comforting, if slight exchange between father and child as Papa points out potential night-lights and Bunny rejects them: The moon? Too bright. Stars? Too twinkly. Fireflies? Too busy. Papa never loses patience as their hunt takes them from their front door to field and shore and all around rabbit town, when Papa finally realizes that Bunny wants a light in his room. They return home again, where Mama solves the problem by unpacking the night-light she used as a child. Each spread is framed by a repeating border of vignettes in soothing indigo blue. The illustrations are suffused with earthy colors and muted pinks, blues and greens, creating such a cozy scene of town and home that children will want to move in. However, the rabbits’ faces are sometimes distorted, and the promised glow-in-the-dark lights are disappointingly dim unless read under the covers, spread by spread, with a flashlight flicking on and off.

The book, a revision of A Night-Light for Bunny (2004), is only partly successful in execution. Children who want soothing at bedtime may do better with House in the Night, by Susan Marie Swanson and illustrated by Beth Krommes (2008), or the classic Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-5)