All Ears, All Eyes

illus. by Katherine Tillotson. 40p. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Bks. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481415712; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781481415729.
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 2—A forest night setting created with watercolor and digital techniques at first connotes quiet and stillness, but from beginning to end, this story encourages readers to look closer and listen deeper to discover a symphony of sight and sound. As the day starts to fade, an owl sits practically camouflaged in a tree, painted in the same blues and purples as the leaves. When night falls, the following pages repeat the technique, and many of the creatures cannot be seen until they, surprisingly and delightfully, become visible. This pairs well with the questions and cadence of the text ("What surprises? What sings? Crick-crick-crickets chirring in the thick-thick-thickets."). There's no need to fear the dark knowing that there's such company stirring within it, and yet even with this noise and activity, the ending provides a gentle send-off to slumber.
VERDICT This lovely, evocative selection is a guessing game and a soothing bedtime offering that's perfect for reading aloud, especially to young animal and nature lovers.

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