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LIGHT UP THE NIGHT by Jean Reidy Kirkus Star

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT

By Jean Reidy (Author) , Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Illustrator)

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4231-2024-7
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

The coziest of quilts becomes a rocket ship in this gorgeous, mesmerizingly rhythmic read-aloud that explores a boy’s small place in a vast world.

Sporting star-spangled pajamas, the not-too-sleepy astronaut wraps his red-and-white quilt around his shoulders and zooms off into outer space. The slow-building rhyme echoes the cumulative structure of “The House That Jack Built”: “These are the planets that circle the sun, / which hides its face when the day is done, / while stars glow bright / and light up the night, / in my own little piece of the universe.” The soothing rhythms and comforting refrain are just right for very young ears, and the geographical terms will stretch young minds. During the boy’s fanciful flight, his aerial view of Earth includes hemispheres, continents and countries—eventually zeroing in on his own town, house, street and bed. Caldecott Honor–winner Chodos-Irvine’s colorful illustrations are fun and friendly, from the retro linocut spot art of the boy in his bedroom (“This is me”)—to dramatic full-bleed spreads that capture the expansive galaxies, complete with a smiling moon, animal constellations, planets and four-eyed aliens. The richly textured mixed-media artwork—incorporating various printmaking techniques and what looks like cut-paper collage—offers many clever self-referential moments and something new to discover with each reading.

A dreamy-yet-instructive ode to the universe. (Picture book. 2-6)