WHAT COLOR IS NIGHT? by Grant Snider


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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If you think the night is black, think again.

Snider’s elegant nocturnal idyll explores the many colors visible to those who “look closer.” The dark blue sky, “a big yellow moon beginning to rise,” the glow of red neon in the city and of faraway yellow headlights in the country, the glowing green eyes of raccoons on the prowl—it turns out the night is fairly pulsing with colors. Thick ink outlines rooftops, sinuous tree branches, skyscrapers, moths, and more; the appropriately nighttime palette will have eyes straining a bit to see dark-gray outlines against dark-blue sky and black foreground shapes. For all that his shapes are simplified, at times even childlike in their line, the effect is startlingly realistic. The sky above the neon-lit city glows murky orange from the light below; in contrast, “a thousand silver stars spilled across the sky” are crystalline white against the navy-blue vastness above a quiet farm. Text is set primarily in gray and white against dark backgrounds, a large-font serif type ensuring legibility. The stately text and stillness of the images give the book a solemn air that is leavened with, first, “a midnight snack” of Lucky Charms and then a dream balloon flight that takes a brown-skinned child with long puffy hair over a sea of “pink and purple clouds.”

This will have young readers hoping to stay up for a glimpse of “colors unseen.” (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4521-7992-6
Page count: 44pp
Publisher: Chronicle
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2019