The Night Walk by Marie Dorleans

The Night Walk by Marie Dorleans (9781782506393)

Full of deep blue, this picture book takes a family and readers out of their beds and into the night. They get awoken by Mom in the middle of the night, get dressed and head outside. Crickets were chirping outside in the darkness. They walked through the sleeping village, past the brightly-lit hotel, and out into the countryside with the summer night around them. Their eyes adjusted to the darkness, letting them see the cows in the pastures and find the path as they left the road. They headed into the forest until they reached a small pond, where they played with the moon’s reflection and their flashlight beam. They stopped to take a break and looked at the vast sky overhead, stars alight. Then they reached a rocky hillside and climbed, up and up. And that’s when they realized they had gotten there just in time!

The winner of the Landerneau Children’s Book Prize, this French import is a deep and amazing read. It invites us all to think about adventuring out into the world in the dark, discovering how the world feels with nature around us, darkness, summer heat and wonder. The text in the book is simple, guiding us through the night’s adventure, pointing out what can be seen and heard, and allowing us all to marvel at the world covered in night. The text never gets in the way of our amazement, instead encouraging us to see more and play along.

The blue, oh the blue in this book. It perfectly captures the night, light only by the moon and the stars. Broken at times by windows or flashlight beams or passing trains, the night is allowed to take over all of the pages. Dorleans lets us squint a bit, as if our own eyes are adjusting to the darkness, to spot badgers and mice and deer. That blue drops away as dawn comes, almost worth shielding one’s eyes after being in the dark for so long.

Brilliant, magical and immersive. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy provided by Floris Books.