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IN THE HUSH OF THE EVENING by Nancy Price Graff

IN THE HUSH OF THE EVENING

by Nancy Price Graff, illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: May 31st, 1998
ISBN: 0-06-022099-6
Publisher: HarperCollins

An absorbing poem to night speaks to the acuity of hearing that comes when a blanket of darkness falls across the landscape. All the sounds that closed eyes conjure are heard here—a whippoorwill in a tree, the “breep, breep” of garden crickets, a bat’s wings swishing past the window screen, even the “pip, pip” of an attic mouse on the prowl. A boy at bedtime does not miss a single utterance from his reverential night vigil at the window sill. Raccoons rattle the lids of garbage cans, a church bell tolls, and an owl whispers, “Who’s there?” “I am” answers the boy, in his effort to be a part of nature’s nocturnal symphony. Karas chooses a dark palette—which grows darker as night descends—for his tilted forms and shapes, while the boy’s connection to nature is depicted with subtle reminders of his presence—a cork boat with a toothpick mast and sugar-packet sail floats near “the lip of the pond,” where the bullfrogs sing; an empty jar and net form a statue in a blinking field of fireflies. Children worried by night noises may find a comforting antidote in the whispered lines of poetry, but the softly-lit images will also dispel the shadows of the imagination. (Picture book. 2-5)