The Night Is Yours

Dial. Jul. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525552710.
PreS-Gr 2–Debut author Zachariah and illustrator Bobo (I Am Enough) team up to bring an affirmation of Blackness and celebration of night. During a hot summer evening in the courtyard of an apartment building a group of Black children gather to play now that the day has cooled. Adults and older siblings watch from windows over the courtyard as the children begin a game of hide-and-seek in the early moonlight. A father’s loving voice narrates to his daughter, Amani, what he sees as he watches closely by. He tells how the moon gleams off the skin of “the different browns and tans” of the little girl and her friends, and how they “giggle the quietest of giggles” that he can hear all the way up to where he watches. He sees her joy and frustration as the game goes on, and sends her “silent strength,” and a silent reminder “that some things aren’t easy,” showing her how he wants to give her the space to be in the world, but also know she is loved and protected. Bobo’s acrylic, oil, and digital double-page spreads capture the summer night as the courtyard embraces the children in their nighttime play, and are juxtaposed with spreads where Amani is held up in the expansive night sky. Zacharia’s lyrical language aches to be read aloud and second-person narrative makes this a perfect book to share one-on-one or in storytime.
VERDICT Debut author Zachariah is an author to note; a must-purchase for libraries

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