Last Night

Hyewon Yum, Author . FSG/Foster $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-34358-3

In stunning linoleum block prints, debut artist Yum imagines a little girl who dreams of a night in the forest with her teddy bear. Pleasure and anxiety intertwine through the wordless spreads; the prints are like a diary in which Yum records everything the girl feels. Rough-cut figures are backlit with eerie pinks and yellows. Full-bleed spreads give the sense that there's nowhere to hide. Hunched in a corner, addressed by a mother represented only by her looming shadow, the girl is sent to bed for not finishing her dinner. As she sleeps, her teddy bear grows huge and awakens her. After a moment's doubt, she follows him into the woods, where, in a series of joyful double-page spreads, they cavort with two foxes, and the bear feasts on fish. Soon, though, the girl longs for home. An owl startles her in the dark. Instead of cuddling up to her furry companion, she lies awake in the forest until morning finds her back in her bed and eager for a hug from her mother. Some picture books are written for children; this one gives a sense of what it's like to be one. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/01/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
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