Night Light

Nicholas Blechman. Scholastic/Orchard, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-545-46263-1
Blechman’s graphic design background may account for his debut’s disciplined focus and polished execution. It’s a counting book about big vehicles—a winning combination right there—with an extra, innovative twist. He invites readers to identify the vehicles with a turn-the-page guessing game. First, spreads of pure black show only the vehicles’ distinctive signature of lights. “1 light, shining bright?” reads the first black spread, a small, die-cut circle on the right side creating a single white dot. A page turn uncovers the answer: “train.” The bold, crisp-edged, streamlined engine speeds toward viewers, its white headlamp front and center. “2 lights, hovering in flight?” the next jet-black spread asks, with two die-cut dots revealing tiny green and red lights. This time, it’s a helicopter, piloted by a roundheaded man resembling a Lego or Playmobil figurine. The typeface contributes to the light theme, too—made up of dots, it mimics the blinking displays of highway warning signs. The lights on the vehicles go up to 10, but young vehicle fans will want to reread (and “replay”) this book many more times than that. Ages 3–5. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/08/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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