What if Night?

Keystone Canyon. Nov. 2020. 32p. Tr $22. ISBN 9781953055019.
K-Gr 2–“What if night never came? Wouldn’t that be great?” So begins this very accessible informational tale of why darkness is important and light pollution is a problem. With a light touch, Bogard covers the importance of darkness for animals and humans, plus how readers can help. Deft illustrations depict a brown-skinned little girl and her dog as they contemplate the joys of darkness from looking at the moon, stars, and fireflies to nocturnal animals and insects. Holden’s realistic depiction of nature works well with just the right amount of detail, and the use of a full moon means the darkness is never too dark. Her mostly full-page spreads use a color palette rich in blues, greens, muted yellows, and browns, with splashes of red and purple. Bogard includes a final page with questions for young readers plus “did you know” and “learn more” sections.
VERDICT An effective first look at light pollution, which is an infrequent topic in picture books. This versatile title could easily be used as a catalyst for discussion, or as a read-aloud at bedtime or story time.

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