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IN THE SKY AT NIGHTTIME by Laura Deal Kirkus Star


by Laura Deal ; illustrated by Tamara Campeau

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-77227-238-3
Publisher: Inhabit Media

A quiet book for putting young children to bed in a state of snowy wonder.

The magic of the north comes alive in a picture book featuring Inuit characters. In the sky at nighttime, snow falls fast. / … / In the sky at nighttime, a raven roosts atop a tall building. / … / In the sky at nighttime, a mother’s delicate song to her child arises like a gentle breeze.” With the repetition of the simple, titular refrain, the author envisions what happens in a small town at night: Young children see their breath in the cold; a hunter returns on his snowmobile; the stars dazzle in the night sky. A young mother rocks her baby to sleep with a song and puts the tot down with a trio of stuffed animals: hare, polar bear, seal. The picture book evokes a feeling of peace as the street lamps, northern lights, and moon illuminate the snow. The illustrations are noteworthy for the way they meld the old world with what it looks like to be a modern Indigenous person: A sled dog and fur-lined parkas combine easily with the frame houses, a pickup truck, power lines, and mobile-hung crib. By introducing Indigenous characters in an unremarkably familiar setting, the book reaches children who don’t always see themselves in an everyday context.

A tender bedtime tale set in a too-seldom-seen northern world.

(Picture book. 3-5)