Animals at Night: A Glow-in-the-Dark Book

tr. from French by Eve Bodeux. illus. by Delphine Chedru. 40p. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky. Oct. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781492653196.
Gr 2–4—Despite its picture book appearance, this French translation packs in plenty of facts related to nocturnal animals. Each spread features a central illustration with four to six creatures, which are further explored in text on the left- and right-hand sides of the pages. Boxes marked with a crescent moon symbol pose questions that readers can answer by examining the glow-in-the-dark portions of the image: "What is the bobcat so interested in observing?" Kids will need to move back and forth between light and dark spaces to read and answer the questions and may find the illuminated portions unclear. (Answers are found in the back of the book.) Animals are organized by type of habitat: forest, country road, desert, etc. Their native continents are also acknowledged. Species vary from common toads and house cats to the lesser-known American pine marten and greater mastiff bat. Notable tidbits include the name for the hornlike feathery tufts on an owl's head, plumicorn. And readers are unlikely to know that Eastern newts progress from tadpoles to the poisonous "red eft" stage before fully maturing. Complex vocabulary words such as bioluminescence are italicized and well defined in context rather than in a glossary. There is a table of contents but no index for locating specific animals.
VERDICT A fascinating examination of nocturnal animals with a rather disappointing glow-in-the-dark hook. Consider for large collections seeking animal materials.

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