Select galleries of nocturnal and crepuscular creatures in 11 settings, with a 12th on a detachable, glow-in-the-dark foldout poster.
The whole production has a slapdash air, as the dusk-to-dawn scenes shift arbitrarily from a generic cityscape with five animal foragers (plus the sole human figure here, a dark-skinned child staring at an outsized raccoon opening a garbage can) to an unnamed tropical rainforest, then an Australian beach, the “Outback,” a woodland vaguely located in North America, and on…finishing with a small poster labeled “Deep Sea” and teeming with unidentified creatures. Elsewhere the animals (and a few plants, which may confuse readers who take the title literally) are named—some in the narrative, some with a bare label in the illustration, some with a label and descriptive comment: “Badgers,” as Flint ungrammatically observes, “have an excellent sense of smell, sight, and hearing.” Though the author makes frequent mention of predators and prey, there is no chasing or eating to be seen in Li’s static, neatly painted scenes. Recent and more illuminating ventures into night life include Anne Jankélowitch and Delphine Chedru’s Animals at Night (2017), which also has glow-in-the-dark art, and Linda Stanek and Shennen Bersani’s Night Creepers (2017).
Careless, bland, superficial work unlikely to light or nourish interest in the topic. (Informational picture book. 6-8)