summertime book of the week…tip top toddler fare loaded with vehicles and guesses!

night light cover imageNight Light, written and illustrated by Nicholas Blechman

Ooh de lally!

This brilliant new book for toddlers and preschoolers and the lucky older siblings and adults who read it with them would have been worn to ragged bits in no time in my household.

For small persons who get jazzed about vehicles…
…and guessing games…
…and counting things…
…this dishes up all three using snazzy, clever, dynamic graphic design.  Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

Printed on sturdy cardstock pages, the book opens to a nice, big, two-page spread of midnight black, with one snip of a riddle printed on the left side in letters that look like they’re formed from Lite Brite pegs.  “1 LIGHT, SHINING BRIGHT?” is our first night light illustration 1 nicholas blechmanriddle.

On the facing page, a die-cut hole reveals one, round, white light. It looks like it might be the moon, except the answer to each one of these riddles is a vehicle. Turn the page to see a brightly colored scene of a train whistling towards us, its round bright headlamp lighting the way. So cool! Meanwhile, that die cut hole, which now opens onto the black page night light illustration 2 nicholas blechmanbehind it, has been transformed into the mouth of a tunnel the train has just come through.  So clever! In the above spreads, notice how the holes form the series of pans hanging up, the fire hydrant spout, and the nozzle on the fire hose.

Turn the page again and we’ve found another jet black riddle page. This time there are two lights, teeny ones, one green and one red. The riddle gives us a little clue so we can try to guess the vehicle before we t-u-r-n that page!

Work your way all the way up to 10 lights, plus one more bonus riddle at the end. Have fun guessing the vehicles, counting the lights, seeing what all those black dots turn into on the picture pages. You’ll find everything from street sweepers to tugboats to front-end loaders here, each set in a handsome,  striking, appropriate setting. Plus, you get to find each of the vehicles once more,  tucked into the final illustration. Brilliant!

I know if we’d had this book when my kids were younger (okay, especially my son), I would have heard “read it again!” and again, and again. 

Sheer delight. Perfect present. This is Nicholas Blechman’s first children’s book, though he is already well-established and awarded as an illustrator/designer. I very much hope more will follow!