Lights out

Marsha Diane Arnold

Book - 2020

Animals embark on a quest to find true darkness when too many artificial lights at night confuse migrating birds, silence singing frogs, and affect the survival of nocturnal animals.

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Picture books
Mankato, MN : Creative Editions 2020.
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 29 cm
Ages 6.
Grades K-1.
Main Author
Marsha Diane Arnold (author)
Other Authors
Susan Reagan (illustrator)
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Creatures search for Night in this story about the negative effects of light pollution. In the coastal town in which they live, Fox and Beetle see an abundance of artificial light and set out to search for "the Dark of Night." Instead, they find electric lights everywhere, ones that confuse Songbird, silence Frog, and disturb Bear's hibernation. Each of these creatures joins Fox and Beetle on their journey into new terrains, including mountains, deserts, and dunes, but all are still dominated by electric lights. When they come upon baby turtles hatching on the shore, the creatures decide to swim to a small island. Finally, they see the natural nighttime light they crave. A rhythmic refrain ("Across the wide, wide world, / they search… / for the Dark of Night. // But everywhere--Lights!") creates a satisfying cadence in the text. Two spreads toward the open and close of the story feature short rhymes in four stanzas about the kinds of artificial and natural lights the creatures encounter; these anchor the story and contrast the two kinds of light in appealing ways. The closing spreads with the dark sky and natural, nocturnal lights are enchanting. Stars twinkle, and the moon glows, as Mother Nature would have it. The fade-in title design on the book's cover is especially smart, communicating much about the story. An author's note kicks off the book, noting how little we hear about light pollution. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.) Illuminating. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.