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UNDER THE NIGHT SKY

Author: Amy Lundebrek

Illustrator: Anna Rich

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Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: It is dark outside. It is cold outside. But Mama is in a hurry to get her son up, dressed, and ready to go out. It is the middle of the night, and everyone in the building is going outside. Why? When the sky explodes in color they understand. It is the Northern Lights, and they are beautiful. This is a story that celebrates nature's great beauty and a special moment between a mother and child.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 2.8

Age of Child: Started reading with a nearly 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter stared at the illustrations, slowing down our reading to enjoy the colorful sky. She wanted to read this one again several nights in a row.

Adult Reader Reaction: We've read a number of books about Aurora Borealis, but this is a nice change from the run-of-the-mill story. I loved that the community celebrated together. The illustrations, like the story, offer the colors of the night. They are dark and require you to spend some time "adjusting" your eyes so that you can see all imagery they contain. Although mother and child celebrate a poignant moment, the mother's choice to talk about how they will disagree sometimes doesn't seem to fit the mood.

Pros: Everyone can enjoy this story about the wondrous moments nature offers us.

Cons: The illustrations are quite dark, some of them almost too dark to see what's happening.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. The story is sweet, has some great factual information, and the illustrations offer a glimpse of what it would be like to see the Northern Lights.

If You Liked This Book, Try: FIRST SNOW IN THE WOODS   ADVENTURES OF RILEY: POLAR BEAR PUZZLE (Riley's World Series®)   DEAR POLAR BEAR ...

Educational Themes: The story offers some great information about the phenomenon of the Northern Lights. It is a great baseline for finding video on the internet, doing more research about where in the world you need to be to see them, or studying what makes them "work."

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 2.8

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, nature

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2008

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