Starlight, Starbright! Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson
MAGIC HAPPENS EVERY NIGHT.
WAVE GOODBYE TO THE SUN'S BRIGHT LIGHT.
GENTLY PRESS THE FIREFLIES.
OH! PRESS AGAIN TO LIGHT THE SKIES.
"Darkness stirs and wakes imagination," says the famous song from Phantom of the Opera, and in her own nocturnal song author Christie Matheson takes the young reader seamlessly into the "Magic of the Night" in her new Touch the Brightest Star (Greenwillow Books, 2015). Matheson's mixed-media collage illustrations draw her palette from the nighttime sky, limited to blues, except for touches of silver and gold foil, from the turquoise-tinged last light of day to the deep, midnight blue of the starlit sky, with one double-page spread of flat black that mark the nadir of the darkest hours just before the dawn.
And again author Matheson's softly soporific speaker invites the listener to "help make the music of the night" with a soft voice that asks the child to interact with the pages, to touch the stars, trace the constellations, and blow up a night breeze over the twilight-grazing deer. Still, so still animals placed gently into the nighttime landscape set the stage for sleep, as even the owls come home to close their eyes just as the first glow of dawn lights up the opening morning glories. Matheson carefully ties her song of the night to the daylight world, explaining that the moon's silver light only reflects the sun's golden light in a cycle that is itself magical, and she extends her text with an appendix, "How the Magic Happens," that offers simple explanations of shooting stars, crepuscular animals like her deer, and the changing shapes of the moon.
Metheson's companion interactive book about daytime is Tap the Magic Tree.