Turn on the Night

illus. by Geraldo Valério. 40p. Groundwood. Sept. 2016. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781554988419.
PreS-Gr 1—A youngster's imagination soars to the stars in this stunningly illustrated wordless picture book. Tucked into bed with a book in one hand and a stuffed chicken in the other, a girl dozes off, transforms into a willowy canine creature, and springs out of the open window for a fanciful adventure. The protagonist is soon joined by two traveling companions—a chicken from the backyard coop and a majestic antlered animal—and all three gleefully bound across the nighttime landscape. Spotting a bright beacon in a twinkle-filled sky, they work together to snatch the star and then return to their starting points, the canine critter leaping back through the window with starburst clasped in mouth. A page turn shows the sleeping girl, her room now star-strewn and aglow with warm light. Featuring lithe, robust animals that stretch across simply drawn backdrops, the acrylic paint and color pencil illustrations are inundated with imagination-empowering possibility. Images of the three figures reoccur in different incarnations (on the cover of a book, on a lampshade, as a weather vane), encouraging readers to flip pages back and forth, seek out details, and construct their own narratives.
VERDICT Perfect for one-on-one or small group sharing, this is an eye-pleasing and dream-dazzling delight for bedtime or anytime.

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