Monday, October 6, 2014

Scary night by Lesley Gibbes and Stephen Michael King

Picture books are often poems and Scary Night is no exception.

Here is the refrain :

"But where were they going in the dead of the night, 
tip-toe creeping in the pale moonlight?
It was a mystery!"

Three friends - Hare, Cat and Pig - set out in the dark of the night to make a special journey.  They each carry something slightly mysterious.  There are serious hazards along the way but these parcels do not assist with their survival.  Can you guess where they are going?  Hare with a hat, Cat with a cake and Pig with a parcel?

This is Lesley Gibbes' first book so how lucky to have the amazing and talented Stephen Michael King as the illustrator.  One of the special features of these illustrations is the way Stephen Michael King marks the passing of time - the journey takes the whole night and as each page turns the sky grows lighter and lighter.  Another special detail comes from the sack that is carried by Hare.  There is no mention in the text but as the party begins we see Hare open his sack which contains drinks, party streamers and balloons along with two special hats - one for goat and one for pig.  I have seen the pattern for this hat in another Stephen Michael King book - take a look at Emily's dress in the book Emily loves to bounce.  You might also look for some of the other tiny details that Stephen Michael King loves to include such as the television aerial and single sock on the first page, the Halloween pumpkin, ghosts in the graveyard, coat hangers and bells.

Two more things.  Take time to look at the second last page.  Goat has two pictures on his walls and a cupcake on the table with one candle - these might make interesting discussion points with your class. Finally a warning - Scary Night is not a quiet book - it demands to be read with a group of children who can join in to scream, roar and shout surprise!

Our Book Week slogan for 2014 was Connect to Reading. When I read Scary Night for the first time I saw a connection with two of my favourite books The Silver Christmas Tree by Pat Hutchins and Frog and a Special Day by Max Velthuijs.

Here is the author web site.  Here is a review in the Sydney Morning Herald.  Lesley Gibbes will visit our school library next week.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review Margot. I had a great day visiting with your lovely students. Many thanks and best wishes,
Lesley Gibbes