Hannah’s Night by Komako Sakai
When Hannah woke up one day, she was surprised to find that it was still night. She tried to wake up her older sister, but she would not wake up. So Hannah headed downstairs with Shiro the cat. She checked on her parents and they were asleep too. Hannah gave Shiro some milk, ate some cherries right from the refrigerator, and no one scolded her. When Hannah returned to her bedroom, she checked again on her sister. Then she borrowed her sister’s doll, her music box, and her art supplies and played with them on her bed. As dawn arrives, Hannah gets sleepy again and falls back asleep.
Sakai has created a beautiful little book filled with the glow of the moon and the delight of the night. What is done best here is the lack of drama or danger. Instead it is a story of small mischiefs and safety. The stealing out of bed itself is enough to drive the story forward and keeps the book moving yet doesn’t make it scary or frightening at all. The matter-of-fact tone of the writing also adds to the peaceful feel of the book.
Sakai’s art is rich and textured. Layered and filled with the blues of night, the images have a radiant delicacy. The combination of rough edges and the detail of sleepy eyelashes create a book that is beautiful to look at as well as a pleasure to share aloud.
A nighttime story, this is one bedtime story that may not keep little wanderers in bed but is worth sharing all the same. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from library copy.