A dad and his child share the time between sundown and dark exploring their world together.
Returning home from work and school, dad starts dinner while mom feeds the baby. But after dinner, it’s the titular Magic Hour, time for just father and the T-shirt–and-shorts–clad narrator to enjoy a post-dinner walk. As they wander, the protagonist’s red plastic bucket fills with found treasures that mark the highlights of the evening. A woman watering roses donates one after a playful sprinkle; the child pets a friendly dog, and then child and dad use the dog’s stick to play tic-tac-toe and to fence. They tickle each other with some bird feathers and swing hand in hand on the playground. Calm descends as the light in the illustrations fades. Crickets chirp; the duo catch fireflies in their hands. Dad swings the child up on his shoulders: “Together, we make a quiet giant / who can almost reach the moon.” The final page shows Mommy tucking the protagonist in. She has the rose and a daisy also gathered on the walk, and the bucket and treasures are prominently displayed. Rich’s characters are delightfully expressive, the narrator’s exuberance and wonder sometimes barely contained. And it’s clear that the father cherishes his bond with his child. All four family members have light-brown skin and dark hair; the people in their neighborhood are diverse.
The magic hour reveals the magical bond between a father and son. (Picture book. 3-8)