Night Knight

illus. by author. unpaged. Candlewick. 2012. RTE $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-5838-0. LC number unavailable.
PreS-Gr 1—As in his completely wordless Foxly's Feast (Templar, 2010), Davey creates images as timeless as fairy tales to transport children to the enchanted forest of Imagination. Read the narrative of Night Knight aloud and it sounds ever so ordinary: "I head down the hallway…and climb the stairs. Then I have a bath… and brush my teeth. I say good night to Rex… and go to my room. I put away my things…climb into bed… and turn out the lights." But the illustrations tell a far more interesting story. With kinetic folk-art patterns in rich, subtle colors, they show the young narrator as he takes readers through dense forests, up steep mountains, into large squid- and serpent-filled seas, and past a three-headed dragon. Children faced with the humdrum prospect of getting ready for bed need only look at Night Knight to remember that adventure is lurking everywhere… yes, even by the umbrella stand, or behind the toothbrush. This book will be best appreciated one-on-one or in small groups.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
A boy imagines himself to be a knight on a great adventure: going to bed. As he goes through his nightly routine, the dichotomy between word and image, and the mix of reality and fantasy blend together. While the color palette feels a bit over-bright for a bedtime book, the retro style is visually appealing and the boy's pre-bedtime tasks will be calmingly familiar to young readers.

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