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NIGHT LIGHTS by Steven Schnur

NIGHT LIGHTS

By Steven Schnur (Author) , Stacey Schuett (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: April 7th, 2000
ISBN: 0-374-35522-3
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

In rhyming text, a little girl counts the lights in her room, in her house, in the surrounding neighborhood, and even in the night sky before she goes to bed. Each night, Melinda counts the lights that she can actually see—one seashell nightlight, five TV sets across the street—and the ones she can only imagine—nine pairs of raccoon eyes, 18 ships going out to sea, and finally, one million stars in the sky. (The text, though, concentrates on the numbers one to twenty). Some of the chosen lights seem to be reaching or overly arbitrary (“FIFTY pond-reflected moons”) or even hard to actually count on the page (“ONE HUNDRED lightning bars”). Some are downright cryptic (“TEN flashlights sweep the sky”), shows ten people shining flashlights into the night sky, making the reader wonder what, exactly, those people are doing out there. The palette of the illustrations is muted and even a little somber, as befits a book about nighttime and the contrast of light and dark, but some scenes are striking, using deeper blues and greens. Schnur (Spring: An Alphabet Acrostic, 1999, etc.) has written a perfectly fine concept book, and while it certainly is not breaking any new ground, it will be a welcome addition to the bedtime bookshelf. (Picture book. 3-6)