Monday, October 8, 2012

Review: Nightsong by Ari Berk & Loren Long

If you could instill a trait in your child, good sense seems like a wise choice.

Author Ari Berk and illustrator Loren Long have produced a wonderful story about good sense--also known as echolocation.

Something about Nightsong's prose and artwork (and maybe even the typestting) makes you want to whisper the beginning of this story. It's dark, the pictures are intimate and understated, and the tone is almost reverential. This is the stuff that great storytimes are made of, and you won't be disappointed when you add Nightsong to your storytime repertoire.

The main character of Nightsong is Chiro, a young bat on the verge of his first taste of independence. His mother has taught him well, and she expresses unflagging confidence in Chiro's ability to fly at night on his own for the first time. Chiro himself doesn't seem so sure at first, but then he glimpses the beauty and marvels of the world just beyond the margins of the world he's known so far.

In a world where children are often taught to fear the unknown, it's refreshing to help them to believe not only in themselves but also in the world around them. When you look around with wondering eyes, there is beauty to be found, friends to be made, and courage in the very young.

This makes a great bedtime story, but it's also a fantastic book for reading to overexcited or rambunctious children. The calm tone and eye-catching illustrations will capture their attention and maybe even slow them down to normal human speed.

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