The Night Walk
Mama opened our bedroom door. "Come on, you two," she whispered. "We need to go now, to get there on time."
Excited, the sleepy family step outside into a beautiful summer evening. They've entered a nighttime world, 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 a family's exciting journey through the night. Beautiful and evocative, this award-winning picture book celebrates the importance of family time and the awe-inspiring power of the natural world.
(Ages 4 – 8 years)
- A luminous, dreamy story with lyrical text that follows a family on a mysterious moonlit adventure
- Rich, atmospheric illustrations brilliantly evoke a night-time journey through sleepy streets and rugged, beautiful countryside
- Translated from French, the original edition won the prestigious Prix Landerneau, in the best children's picture book category
- Celebrates the importance of family time and the breathtaking majesty of the natural world
“The poetic, evocative text immerses readers in a nocturnal world; as the family finds its way through the woods.... Painstaking line and graphite-pencil shading create depth and dimension for the various tree-lined, rocky, and mountainous terrains depicted along the way. At long last, the four gather atop a boulder to witness the break of dawn—that's where we were going. 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
“This family outing, translated from the French, is a sensory delight, detailed with sounds and scents and tactile sensations that are enhanced by experiencing the world in, literally, a different light. Dorléans works wonders within a limited color range of rich blues and warm and bright whites, concluding with a wordless spread of yolk yellow sky and a glaring white sun almost too bright to view without blinking.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“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, the illustrations were drawn in pencil, painted with watercolors, and completed digitally. This rewarding picture book, first published in France, invites children to experience a memorable encounter with the natural world.” —Booklist, 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. This wondrous darkness gleams with reassuring lights (from lamps, windows, flashlights, glinting stars, a woozy moon) while meticulous pencil work provides specificity. A sweater's cables claim readers' attention, as do blades of grass, pine needles, fronds of fern, and a lacework of leaves in a magical night sky perforated by stars. Equally evocative sentences (in taut translations from French) appear in clear, white lettering, engaging the senses: "We threaded through the whispering forest. The earth was damp, the bark smelled comforting." Keeping pace with this family, readers wonder where they're headed and why they must start to hurry near the book's conclusion. Urgency, exhilaration, and anticipation make the walk's conclusion, a luminous, lemony daybreak, all the more powerful.... A gift—here night isn't scary; the unknown is exhilarating and the ending sunny and clear.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“Though the plot and characterization are minimal, the figurative language and journey are rich with imagery and possibility.” —Youth Services Book Review
“Perfectly paced page turns capture the family's trek and the wonders that await in the world after nightfall. Therein lies the joy of this picture book: Both the journey and the destination are delightful...
Dorléans’ mastery of language (with superb work from translator Polly Lawson) is especially apparent. Her sensory details are remarkable and vivid.... When they finally reach the summit of a mountainous slope, the expansive vista and the revelation of their ultimate objective is breathtaking. 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.” —BookPage