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SHADOW NIGHT by Kay Chorao


A Picture Book with Shadow Play

by Kay Chorao, illustrated by Kay Chorao

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-525-46685-1
Publisher: Dutton

When eerily looming shadows become too much for a small boy, his parents devise an ingenious method to ease his fears. In the stillness of his room, James imagines that the moonlit shadows cast by his curtains look like monsters. His parents turn James’s apprehensions into interest when they show him how to make his own shadow creations. Soon James is listening (and watching) a story about a pair of bumbling spiders bent on scaring everyone they meet. The purposefully goofy tale with its shadow reenactments relieves James’s anxieties. Chorao (The Little Country Town, not reviewed, etc.) strikes just the right note for young readers; she acknowledges a common childhood fear without dwelling on it and quickly divests the situation of its fearful qualities. Her full-color illustrations capture the cozy warmth of James’s family life with tender scenes depicting his doting parents reassuring and soothing the alarmed tot. The clearly drawn illustrations demonstrate how to re-create the shadow figures. Apprehensive children will feel empowered to overcome their fears; armed with moonlight and their own fleet fingers, they’ll be ready at a moment’s notice to banish any frightful shadow monsters. An afterword encourages children to explore shadow play and create their own stories and creatures. (Picture book. 3-6)