KITTEN AND THE NIGHT WATCHMAN by John Sullivan
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KITTEN AND THE NIGHT WATCHMAN

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The story of a simple friendship that forms over the course of a night shift is given rich life with evocative art and prose.

After the title character leaves his family to work as a caretaker of a large construction site, he’s visited by a small, gray kitten. The tiny furry companion follows as the night watchman makes his rounds, but when the kitten disappears, the man worries about its fate as he hears a dog, a train, passing cars. This isn’t a Stephen King novel; things turn out fine, and the man’s family ends up one feline richer. But the journey to get to that dawn reunion is lovely. Illustrator Yoo’s sunsets, purple-to-blue night skies, and chalky beams of yellow light set the mood, while her deceptively simple rendering of the kind-faced watchman puts readers into the man’s shoes. But the real surprise is the depth of debut writer Sullivan’s words. The construction vehicles don’t just sit on the lot: “Garbage trucks line up like circus elephants. / A backhoe rises like a giant insect.” Sound effects (“peent peent peent” goes a nighthawk) and lived-in, careful observations make it no surprise to learn that Sullivan was a building and equipment guard and that the cat-adoption story is real. The man and his family are people of color.

Every life and job is unique; this book’s take on the job of a watchman is empathetic, poetic, and a joy to look at, cute kitty and all. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4814-6191-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2018




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