When Night Didn't Come by Poly Bernatene
|When Night Didn't Come by Poly Bernatene|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: A wonderful book with no words. It might take a little effort the first time you read it, but it's most definitely worth it. Poly Bernatene's illustrations make frequent re-readings a certainty. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 38||Date: April 2010|
|External links: Author's website|
One night, after the sun has gone to bed, the night doesn't come. There's no darkness, no moon and no stars. Someone's going to have to do something about it, so the man in charge rouses a group of children and they do what they can to bring the night.
When The Night Didn't Come is a beautiful book with no words. The magical story is told in a form somewhere between a comic strip and a picture book. The plot is at once fantastic and perfectly simple. It all unfolds with a gentle pace that makes it ideal for bedtime reading. However, there being no words, if you so desire, it can become a wide-eyed and thrilling tale, with action and adventure - it's all down to what you read into it.
It might take a little bit of pushing to get the story going the first time you open the pages. The small amount of effort required will be more than repaid when you go back to it time and time again. The story will develop, you'll hang new elements on it, the characters will change slightly, or say different things. Your children will 'read' it to you, and will bring their own imagination to bear on it.
Poly Bernatene's illustrations are utterly gorgeous, with an intriguing style all of their own. There are hints of Renaissance Italy, Victorian London and the contemporary world all mixed up together. They blend seamlessly to create a wonderful whole, that further allows the story to be anything you want it to be. They're some of the most charming illustrations I've come across in a long while in children's books, and they're an absolute joy to pore over.
A picture book with no words isn't necessarily to everyone's tastes. The older the child is, the more they'll get out of it, because they'll be able to put more into it. However, the core story is easy enough to grasp that it can be pitched at any young book fan. The reader has more of a responsibility than usual to let the book shine, but Poly Bernatene has given the reader ever opportunity to meet this responsibility, and the rewards for doing so are wonderful. Highly recommended.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
There's nothing quite like When Night Didn't Come but Crazy Hair by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean also mixes a sense of magic and beautiful illustrations wonderfully. Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara does likewise. Shine Moon Shine by David Conway also takes a look at a way to get the moon back into the sky.
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