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Author: Gerstein, Mordicai
Sylvie the cat persuades her boy to go into the darkness very late at night, where they are greeted by the shadows of roses and other flowers, and by nocturnal animals who whisper, "it's almost here."
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 1.60
Points: .5 Quiz: 175014
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 1.00
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 66388
Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/01/15)
School Library Journal (+) (03/01/15)
Booklist (+) (03/15/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/15)
The Hornbook (00/05/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2015 PreS-Gr 2—The shadows of a summer night sing the promise of morning to a boy and his cat as they venture out into the dark yard surrounding their house. In the introductory scene just before the title page, the redheaded boy, tucked in bed in his darkened room, addresses the black cat curled above him, gazing through the window at the dusky world. "Good-night, Sylvie." Sylvie, it soon appears, is not ready for sleep and meows insistently until the two tiptoe through the sleeping house and out into the nighttime shadows. Gerstein's roughly sketched scenes with well-chosen detail are done on gray art paper, a fine choice for these shadowy night views. The early indoor scenes are boxed against the outer page. Heading for the open door, Sylvie hints, "It's coming…hurry." The dark outside opens fully on a spread and is soft and comfortable with shadows everywhere. "Are those shadows roses? Are those lilies and sunflowers? Where are their colors?" Soon the shadows reveal a great variety of animals that begin to echo Sylvie's hint. "It's on its way…here it comes…It's almost here." Eventually a glow appears above the trees, the shadowy animals slip away, and the world gathers color, leading to a full burst of sun. Boy and cat rush into the house to announce the beautiful day. Gerstein adds a personal note about his early childhood discomfort with the outer night world and his lifelong love of sunrise. Children will surely respond to his simple scheme, beautifully crafted with spare text and with much to enjoy in the homely views of house and yard. VERDICT This is fun bedtime fare, but so much more—parents and teachers will find many possibilities for conversations about night and day.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2015 *Starred Review* Caldecott Medalist Gerstein delights and inspires readers in this meditation on the night. A sleeping boy is awakened by a “meow.” The cat on his bed, Sylvie, wants to go outside, even as the boy protests it’s too early. But out of the dark house—“Is this our house?”—they creep, and Sylvie, who can now speak, tells the boy, “It’s coming.” Several stunning two-page spreads executed in shades of black and charcoal and dotted by hundreds of bright stars bring the nighttime world close. Then animals step out of the shadows, making the outdoors pulse with life. By the time birds appear in the trees, the shadows are lifting, and the stars fade into the glow of morning. Glorious sunlit spreads capture not just the look of a breaking dawn but the haunting feel of watching night turn to day. Gerstein is at the top of his game here, capturing a nearly inexpressible mood. Beginning with the very darkest shades while the boy is in the house (with only the green eyes of the cat or the whites of the boy’s eyes for color) makes readers look and look again, and once they are outside, the animals’ stirrings will have children pointing at the darkened pages with delight. The strong yet simple message impresses: look around; there are so many wonderful things to see. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2015 The sky is black when the narrator’s cat, Sylvie, awakens him with a “Meow?” Although he’s initially annoyed (“It’s too late to go out, Sylvie . . . or is it too early?”), the boy eventually follows the cat through the darkened house and outside. There they join a throng of animals congregating in a yard transformed by starlight and shadows, and although the boy is content to marvel at the unfamiliar night, the animals are focused on some mystery that eludes him: “‘It’s coming,’ murmur all the animals. ‘It’s almost here!’” When the awaited event arrives, it is indeed transformational. Dawn brings colors back to the world, shuffles the nocturnal animals off to bed, and sends the energized boy running into the house to rouse his groggy family with “Good morning, everyone! It’s going to be a beautiful day!” The trip outdoors is a gentle adventure with a trusted feline friend as a guide, and the night itself inspires awe rather than terror, making this a cozy, comforting take on the dark. Night scenes in sooty black on gray reveal curved shapes and shadow-softened angles, with the only tinge of color coming from animal eyes (Sylvie’s are green and an owl’s are yellow). Pink-orange clouds, a couple of rosy lights in the windows, and the crimson crest of a perching bird signal dawn’s arrival, and as the sun breaks the horizon, the following spreads burst into a riot of bright yellows, spring greens, and pure blues. Although this could be an effective inoculation against night shivers, it would be even better as an invitation to set the alarm clock an hour earlier and bring the family outside to watch the sunrise. EB - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.