A 2021 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Book which has received starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Horn Book and Booklist.
Mama opened our bedroom door. "Wake up, you two," she whispered. "Let's go, so we get there on time."
Excited, the sleepy family step outside into a beautiful summer night. The world is quiet and shadowy, filled with fresh smells and amazing sights. Is this what they miss when they're asleep?
Together, they walk out of their sleeping village. What will they find in the dark landscape?
This beautiful and evocative book movingly recalls family trips and the excitement of unknown adventure, while celebrating the awe-inspiring joy of the natural world.
'Awash in nocturnal blue, Dorleans' graphite pencil illustrations of a family of night time explorers evoke a luminous sense of wonder.'
– A 2021 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Book
'I love, love, LOVE this book. It captures everything wonderful about family night time adventures, both the hushed tone and the quiet magic of earth, air and sky.'
– Jane Yolen, author of OWL MOON
'Navy washes overlay graphite pencil and digital illustrations, with fine-lined detail so startlingly observed that readers will feel immersed in each expansive spread. Suspense builds as sparse beams of light illuminate the darkness page by page and each spread carries the family forward through the night. A graceful, perfectly paced appreciation of nature.'
– Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
'Watercolor and graphite pencil illustrations depict an enveloping nocturnal world through saturations of indigo. Young readers' hearts will quicken, feeling embraced by night made real with breathtaking, full-bleed washes of blue that stretch across double-page spreads. Urgency, exhilaration, and anticipation make the walk's conclusion, a luminous, lemony daybreak, all the more powerful. Here night isn't scary; the unknown is exhilarating and the ending sunny and clear.'
– Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
'The poetic, evocative text immerses readers in a nocturnal world; as the family finds its way through the woods. This hushed, intimate picture book creates a respite from the demands of the daytime world and pulls readers into a moment of pure wonder and peace.'
– The Horn Book Magazine, STARRED REVIEW
'From the chirping of crickets to the scent of grass to the snap of dead branches as the family walks through the forest, the text uses sensory details effectively to help listeners imagine the experience. Beautifully composed and often striking. This rewarding picture book invites children to experience a memorable encounter with the natural world.'
– Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
'This picture book is full of vivid sensory details and atmospheric illustrations that create an experience of nature that both the young and young at heart will certainly cherish. Dorleans' text pairs with her beautifully detailed graphite pencil and watercolor art to emphasize the expanse of the natural world. The result is awe-inspiring.'
– Jen Forbus, Shelf Awareness
'Never hurried, this eloquent story is a beautifully measured tale not unlike one giant inhale (the journey) followed by a long, happy exhale (the closing spreads). Pick up a copy and make a night of it.'
'A deep and amazing read. It invites us all to think about adventuring out into the world in the dark, discovering how the world feels with nature around us, darkness, summer heat and wonder. Brilliant, magical and immersive.'
– Waking Brain Cells
'A sensory delight.'
– The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
'Rich with imagery and possibility.'
– Youth Services Book Review
'Do you remember that feeling of mystery that surrounded night time when you were younger? I loved going on road trips and getting glimpses of night life wherever we were and this book highlights that feeling beautifully. The artwork is so beautiful with the contrasting lights in the dark and captures that special subtle magic so well. I'm definitely making it a goal to do this with my kids this summer to share this kind of moment with them as well!'
– Kid Lit is Lit, Instagram
'Gorgeous and adventurous, this tale of a family's midnight hike is pretty much the perfect, starlit, dream-come-true for me!... Splendid through and through.'