A grandfather, his grandson and their hound dog stroll through a city as the sun sets, meeting comical characters and observing the brightly lit city at night.
Caldecott Medalist Shulevitz explored daybreak in Dawn (1974) almost 40 years ago, with a similar odyssey by a grandfather and grandson in a country setting. This time, the “[b]oy with dog and grandfather with beard” head for the city, a fantastical location with tall, narrow buildings that have an Art Deco look and cars and clothing that suggest the 1930s. The boy and his grandfather meet several odd characters from different time periods and places; they speak in rhyming text about their shopping quests. As daylight fades, the lights of the city come on, including streetlights, lighted store windows and brightly lit Christmas decorations. The glowing windows of apartments display candles for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, shown equally in three adjoining windows, and children celebrating the three holidays parade through the town. The pacing speeds up and the amount of artificial light gradually increases until the luminous final page, on which the boy exclaims, “It’s as light as day.” With the comic-relief exception of the rhyming shoppers, the text is spare and polished, strung together in measured prose like a string of bright holiday lights.
Shulevitz elegantly captures the magical quality of twilight as well as the gleaming allure of the bright lights of the big city. (Picture book. 4-8)