When Chiro’s mother tells him that he must fly out of the cave on his own for the first time, he is frightened. Night has descended and it is pitch dark. How is the little bat to see where he’s going? “Use your good sense,” his mother tells him. So Chiro flies out into the great dark world and sings out his sense, discovering courage and independence along the way.
Nightsong by Ari Berk and illustrated by Loren Long (Simon & Schuster) is wave after wave of delight. I picked up this book because of its captivating and simplistic cover. I was intrigued. Then I flipped it open and knew without reading a word that I had to buy it.
Long’s illustrations are brilliant, beautiful and so smart. As Chiro learns to use his good sense—his echo-location—dark, scary shadows are blasted away, revealing colourful bursts of scenery. What started out as creepy hands turns out to be lush pine boughs. Lines of noise become telephone wires. Use of shadow and colour to show what bats see with their echo-location is such a simple idea with an incredibly stunning result.
And then I began to read…
The lyrical writing pushed my love of Nightsong into pure adoration. The soft sounds and poetic sentences make this book as beautiful as a well-sung lullabye.
Do yourself a favour and go find a copy of Nightsong. Flip it open and see, hear, sense what I mean. I can’t stop marveling at it.