"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."

Borges

Friday, January 26, 2007

Little Night/Nochecita



Little Night

Author/Illustrator: Yuyi Morales

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

ISBN-10: 1596430885

ISBN-13: 978-1596430884


From the book jacket:

As the long day comes to an end, Mother Sky fills a tub with falling stars and calls, “Bath time for Little Night!”


Little Night answers from afar, “Can’t come. I am hiding and you have to find me, Mama. Find me now!”


I loved this book! I recently received the BLAD (book, layout and design) of both this and the Spanish language version, Nochecita and simply fell in love with Yuyi Morales’ sumptuous illustrations. Each page is a feast for the senses. The art is so rich, so deep, so textured that it is almost tactile. It feels like you could walk right into the page and in doing so, you would be walking into a dream world make of silk and velvet.


The face of Little Night is one of sheer joy. She is imbued with the spirit of childhood and laughter. Even without the fun hide and seek story you’d be completely engaged because the art tells the story on its own. That said the story is fun and adorable. The imagery of Yuyi Morales’ writing is beautiful and poetic.


Mother Sky is beautiful as well. She embodies the spirit of the india in her gorgeous huilpil and braided hair. She makes me think of Mexico, of my grandmother and her comadres, of paintings by Siquieros and Rivera but with a more feminine, almost sensual feel.


Nochecita sounds a little better in Spanish, but overall the translation is seamless and you get the same sense of fun in both versions of the book.


Little Night won’t be published until April but it is available for pre-order in most bookstores. I’m running right out to pre-order it and I highly recommend that anyone do so. Children will love the sense of fun in the book as well as the illustrations and adults will adore the dreamlike sensuousness of the art.


About the Author:

Yuyi Morales is an author, artist, puppet maker, fold dancer and was the host of her own Spanish-language radio program for children. Other books she has written/an or illustrated include Just a Minute, winner of the Pura Belpre Medal, Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez, a Pura Belpre Honor Book, and Los Gatos Black on Halloween. She has also received the Jane Addams and Christopher Awards for her work. Born in Veracruz, Mexico, Yuyi now makes her home in the San Francisco area.

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