Review: Night Light by Nicholas Blechman

night light

Night Light by Nicholas Blechman

Count from one to ten in this picture book all about lights at night.  The book begins with a black page and just one light shining through from a die cut to the page beyond.  Turn the page and you see that one light is a train.  Keep turning and you start counting more and more lights, each attached to a different vehicle.  Some of the pages have clues so that you can guess what sort of vehicle it is.  This is a book perfect for small children to start to count and ideal for children who love trucks, planes and trains.

Blechman keeps his writing very simple.  The real draw of the book is the clever use of die cuts to show just the lights before you turn the page.  The blackness of the page also adds to the drama and suspense very nicely.  The book is printed on heavier pages, making it very friendly for toddler hands.

A simple and engaging book for young truck lovers that is a mix of counting and guessing game.  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Ann Jonas Has Died


Ann Jonas, creator of some amazing picture books, has died at age 81 according to Publisher’s Weekly.  She is the creator of the very innovating Round Trip, a black and white picture book that flipped over and you read it backwards to finish the story.

Jonas was married to Donald Crews, also an author and illustrator of children’s picture books.  She is also the mother of Nina Crews who too creates children’s books.  That’s one talented family!

Review: Battling Boy by Paul Pope

battling boy

Battling Boy by Paul Pope

This is the first book in a new graphic novel series.  Monsters are attacking Acropolis but they are protected by the hero Haggard West, until he is killed.  Now their fate is in the hands of a young twelve-year-old sent from outer space.  He has powers of different animals that he accesses by wearing different t-shirts.  He can fight, but the monsters are cunning and strong.  Teens from his planet go rambling, but few return.  Battling Boy must not just save Acropolis, he has to prove his worth, make a cunning plan, fight epic battles, and survive.

The reader is quickly thrown into the story in this graphic novel which lays very little background at all.  That approach is perfect for this fast-paced storyline where everything is explained on the fly and the reader has to pick up on clues to put it all together.  Even as the reader is wondering about some things, the action has picked them up and moved them onward.  The result is a brawling book that is a surprisingly engaging read.

Pope’s art has a wonderful vintage comic feel.  The storyline also has its vintage moments but also bursts of surprises.  The melding of steampunk, deities, outer space and monsters makes for a fresh read.

Young fans of graphic novels will find a lot to love here: big battles, a young hero and a mashup of genres.  Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from library copy.

This Week’s Tweets and Pins

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter and Pinterest accounts this week that I hope you find interesting:


13 Day of the Dead books for kids | Babble #kidlit

Bewitching Tales | Great Books for Halloween | SLJ – #kidlit

Caldecott winner David Wiesner bends kids’ brains with Mr. Wuffles! | Artery | Indy Week #kidlit

Neil Gaiman: Let children read the books they love | Books | The Guardian #kidlit


ALA welcomes Macmillan expansion of library ebook lending | District Dispatch #ebooks

Calvin and Hobbes | Coming Soon to a Tablet Near You – #ebooks


BeerBrarian: The End of "The End of Libraries" #libraries

In digital age, librarians are needed more than ever [infographic] #libraries

Looking for a 2 a.m. library fix? Milwaukee to debut 24-hour vending #libraries

New breed of teen-services librarians emerges – Lifestyle – The Boston Globe #libraries #librarians


7 Unconventional Reasons Why You Absolutely Should Be Reading Books #reading

Read Literary Fiction Before Dates or Meetings for Social Success #reading

Reading gives kids an edge, study says #reading


Lockwood & Co. | The Interactive Game – YouTube – Looking forward to the new book by Jonathan Stroud!

Neil Gaiman novel banned by New Mexico school after mother objects | Books