Posts filed under ‘Review’


Once upon a time, I was invited to a baby shower, and in the course of buying gifts I found myself browsing picture books. Nothing was speaking to me. Oh, there are the classics that all kids should have, but I wanted something off the beaten path, so I poked around in the back of the store, where the books were not displayed so much as shoved into stacks. There, at the very end of a shelf, I discovered this beautiful book, “Nightsong” by Ari Berk.

Nightsong by Ari Berk (Author), Loren Long (Illustrator)

Nightsong by Ari Berk (Author), Loren Long (Illustrator)

Chiro, a young bat, is sent out into the night alone to forage for food and make his way. His mother tells him he’ll be fine as long as he uses his “good sense” to help him. The darkness scares him, but he soon discovers that if he sings a song, the world sings back to him, allowing him to “see” everything. He travels many miles and has a beautiful journey before finally making his way back home to the warm embrace of his mother.

The story is wonderful and sweet, but the illustrations done by Loren Long are what really sold me. The darkness of the world of bats is brought to life in a very approachable way. Chiro himself is adorable, with his floppy ears and fawn-like speckled fur, and the illuminated path of his song over the landscape is ethereal and charming. The muted tones of the art are a perfect match to the softly soaring narrative. I think this will make a beautiful bedtime story for the little man my friend is about to welcome into the world, especially if he ever gets afraid of the dark.


May 31, 2014 at 6:41 pm Leave a comment

Review #1 – I am Raven

A co-worker recently loaned me her copy of David Bouchard’s award-winning children’s book, I am Raven, and being a lifelong fan and student of American Indian cultures, I was instantly enchanted. (Of course, I’m a Raven, too!)

I am Raven by David Bouchard

I am Raven by David Bouchard
Illustrated by Andy Everson

The author tells the tale of a great chief who is building a totem pole as a legacy for his village. He is visited by many animals, each of whom shower him with gifts in hopes that their likeness and spirit will be represented on the new totem pole. The animals all offer a glimpse into the powers they represent in the native pantheon, and give examples of how they help the chief and other “two-leggeds” throughout life. The art is just as lovely as the story, with a calming palette of evening landscapes and big, full moon skies. Moon is just as important a guide as any animal, by the way. There is a fantastic section at the back of the book listing a dozen other totems who didn’t make it into the story. Children would have fun trying to decide which one might best represent them, their friends, and their family members.

“If at night, before you close your eyes to travel to your dream time, if then you picture one of your wild cousins to whom you might ask guidance or give thanks, what would it be?”

Who is your animal guide?

August 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm 3 comments



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