Review Blog

Aug 11 2014

Scary night by Lesley Gibbes

cover image

Ill. by Stephen Michael King. Working Title Press, 2014. ISBN 9781921504631.
(Age: 4+) Recommended, Picture book, Ghosts, Graveyards, Birthdays. Hare with a hat, Cat with a cake and Pig with a parcel creep through the night on their way to who knows where. The unknown destination will keep puzzling readers as they follow the trio of friends through the scariest of places in the moonlight.
Through the dark woods, through a cave, over the mountain, past the grizzly bears, avoiding the crocodiles and on they gp. In rhyming lines, accented by the refrain of the trio of animals, the verses lead the reader on, enticing them to read the story out loud, with emphasis. Through the graveyard, where they scream, but they don't give up. Then finally up the stairs to their destination.
The pen, ink and brush illustrations show the trio of friends creeping through the night, each with large scared eyes, bulging at the possibility of what might be around the next corner. Shadows cower above them, bats fly through the air, branches seem to grab for them and all is accented by the large full moon shining overhead. Each page has yet another layer of scary things to pick out and excite the younger reader.
The surprise at the end will bring gales of laughter and relief. And calm reigns.
The illustrations add to the fun of the book, with an array of things planted in the background to besought out, and marvelled over. This is a lovely book to share with young and old, to read a loud, to reproduce King's zany illustrations, and perhaps act out in the classroom.
Fran Knight

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