The Way Home in the Night by Akiko Miyakoshi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
First Published: 2017
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Recommended Age: 5+
Genres & Themes: Picture Books, Animals, Bedtime
This beautiful picture book captures the magical wonder a child feels at being outside in the night. Award-winning author and illustrator Akiko Miyakoshi’s softly focused black-and-white illustrations with just a touch of neutral color have a dreamlike quality, just right for nodding off to sleep with. The book is intriguing in that it contains twice-told stories, once as they are observed and second as the bunny imagines them. This offers a perfect prompt for young children to create extensions of other stories they have read or heard. A deeper reading could encourage critical thinking by comparing the different pastimes of the neighbors or, ultimately, what it means to be home.
This story took me literally one minute to read. There is barely any writing—the illustrations are doing most of the talking.
But that’s okay. I didn’t mind that at all. Actually, even if the story is less developed in this one, I enjoyed it more than the previous Akiko Miyakoshi picture book I read, because I agree with the message the author is trying to convey.
While it’s not true that *everyone* goes home to their beds at night—some people don’t have them or are working nightshifts—I appreciate the author implying that some days are beautiful and surprising or sad and dark. Or just plain normal.
We all have good days and we all have bad days. Whichever we’ve experienced today, we know there is a warm home waiting for us to take comfort in. Tomorrow is a new day. (Though I do have the impression that I may be reading too much into this little book.)
Short and sweet. It feels like a bedtime story, so maybe it’s good that it’s so short, seeing that parents are able to get to their own beds faster if they read this particular picture book to their children.
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