The Blue Hour

tr. from French. illus. by Isabelle Simler. 42p. Eerdmans. Feb. 2017. Tr $19. ISBN 9780802854889.
RedReviewStarK-Gr 3—This stunning ode to the "blue hour" celebrates the time of day between sunset and night. Beginning with endpapers that itemize more than 30 evocatively named shades of blue (peacock, azure, periwinkle, celadon), the striking oversize spreads feature richly textured images of blue mammals, sea creatures, birds, insects, and plants, many of whose "blueness" extends to their name. "A blue fox slips through the arctic cold. Among the water lilies, blue poison dart frogs gather, croaking to each other." While the text is spare, it manages to convey the peace that befits the transition from day to night in the natural world. But the glory of this book is the majestic illustrations, drawn in a fine scratch art style. As twilight progresses, the underlying oranges and yellows in feathers, wings, and leaves glow against the deepening blue until darkness leaves nothing but a brilliant moon, stars, and silhouettes. The final page includes a map showing where each of the animals can be found.
VERDICT With its calming tone and gorgeous visuals, this title is a unique choice for bedtime collections and a glorious introduction to the natural world.

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