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WHILE THE WORLD IS SLEEPING by Pamela Duncan Edwards


by Pamela Duncan Edwards and illustrated by Daniel Kirk

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-545-01756-5
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

A giant snowy owl pays a visit to a young child, introducing him/her to some nocturnal animals. The child clings to the owl’s back while they visit river, meadow, farmyard, stream and woods. “In the woods, a porcupine, / Rattles quills to send a sign, / Don’t come near, this food is mine! / While the world is sleeping.” With the exception of two, the rhymes work well and, with its repetitive phrasing, this would make for a good read-aloud in group settings. While most of the creatures are in fact nocturnal, Edwards includes deer and rabbits, which are crepuscular. The ending leaves open for readers the opportunity to have an adventure of their own—a stuffed owl on the bed suggests the power of imagination. Kirk’s sharp-edged gouache artwork stops short of pure realism, rounding the animals a bit to suit a younger audience (though the fox’s pop eyes look downright sinister). At the same time, children are given an extreme close-up view of most. Muted colors enhance the nocturnal theme. An imaginative look at nighttime nature. (Picture book. 4-7)