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THE NIGHT WALKER by Richard Thompson


by Richard Thompson & illustrated by Martin Springett

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-55041-672-3
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Thompson and Springett’s second collaboration (The Follower, not reviewed) follows a similar scenario—scary things following a child through a scary place. Here, the treasures the Native boy collects are “clinking and clicking and rustling” and conjuring up images of mysterious and dangerous animals following him. An imaginary fox or dog, a bear, and the dreaded Night Stalker threaten the boy as he walks then runs over the hills and through the forests. In his haste to escape from the sounds, the boy trips and is certain that the Night Stalker will pounce on him. He listens for the sounds and waits. The stillness of the night and the silence in the air lulls him to sleep and when he rises in the morning, he continues his journey in the light. His mother realizes that it was the treasures in his pouch that were making the ominous noises. Springett’s softly hued two-paged spreads capture the sense of imagined beings on a sweep of forward motion. Discerning readers will question why the treasures did not sound their clicking and clinking during the morning portion of his walk but nevertheless, this is a comfortably scary story that will evoke smiles for those who can imagine their own Night Stalker. (Picture book. 5-7)