Night Shift: Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan
LITTLE OWL WAS HAVING A WONDERFUL NIGHT.
The sun and Bear have already called it a day and the birds have gone to roost. But Little Owl is wide awake and ready to join the night shift in the forest.
No one is afraid of the dark here, as his nocturnal neighbors turn out to begin the swing shift. A mama 'possum waddles by with her babes in a row behind her. Skunk is already breakfasting on some ripe berries. Hedgehog rumbles by, sniffing for 'shrooms. Beaver is up and at it, already busy at the building trade, the frog and cricket choir is warming up for a little night music, and Raccoon is ready to ramble.
There is a beautiful moon rising, and Little Owl longs to show it to his sleeping friend, but this Bear snores on! As Little Owl looks up at the starry sky, he wonders if Bear knows what he is missing.
At last Little Owl flies home, still thinking about what Bear never gets to see, but then he realizes that the daytime animals must see things that he is unaware of. Little Owl asks his mother:
"TELL ME HOW THE NIGHT ENDS," HE WHISPERS.
"THE STARS FADE TO GHOSTS," MAMA SAID.
"SPIDERWEBS TURN TO SILVER THREADS. DEWDROPS SPARKLE ON GRASS LIKE TINY STARS COME DOWN.
MORNING GLORIES OPEN... "
It is a poetic recital, but before Mama gets to the part about black skies brightening to blue, Little Owl is lost in dreamland, his shift done for this day, in Divya Srinavasan's new board book edition of Little Owl's Night (Viking Press, 2013), a flip-side bedtime story in which kids who may be afraid of the dark can experience what the nocturnal animals know, the music of the night. Set against shiny black pages, artist Srinavasan's stylized green and brown illustrations are eye-openers, seen through the Little Owl's large green eyes, and the author's lyrical storytelling does justice to the beauties of both day and nighttime.
Read this one last, following Jonathan Allen's sleepy-time priming I'm Not Sleepy! (Baby Owl).(See review here)