A child wakes in the middle of the night and embarks on a quiet adventure.
When little Hannah realizes it’s still dark, she decides to tiptoe downstairs with her trustworthy cat, Shiro. Upon realizing all are asleep, the charming child takes small liberties: feeding the cat milk, eating cherries from the fridge and carefully playing with her sister’s toys. Sakai’s evocative illustrations envelop readers in the stillness and silence of a hushed home. Done in paint and colored pencil, they perfectly capture a child’s innocent point of view. Hannah is incredibly appealing as she squats next to Shiro, gazes up at the moon and giggles that her sister—just in the next bed—does not notice that Hannah is borrowing her toys. Each pose is perfection; parents will achingly recognize a magical time in their own children’s development, and young readers will recognize themselves in the careful explorer. The simple and elegant artwork provides a rich environment for the text, whose translation is offered with a New Zealand accent. As dawn breaks, Hannah spots the “prettiest dove she’d ever seen” outside her window. Trusting in the hope and wonder of a light-filled, new day, Hannah finally falls asleep, curled up next to Shiro on the edge of her sister’s bed.
Absolutely enchanting. (Picture book. 2-5)