The Night Journey

Paul Dowling, Author Doubleday Books for Young Readers $5.99 (12p) ISBN 978-0-385-32287-4
Against the indigo background of the night sky, Nicky's father drives her through country lane and city street to a mysterious destination-a fireworks display. (Readers could also see Nicky as a long-haired boy, as the character's sex is unspecified.) Pull-tabs on each page create a succession of imaginative special effects: a reflection appears in a pond, stars twinkle and fireworks suddenly light up an empty sky. The tabs change the scenes beneath cellophane overlays, so a line drawing of a sleeping owl turns into a color picture of a wide-eyed owl flapping its wings; on another page, the revealed scene adds thrashing limbs and flying hair to the sedate black-and-white silhouettes on the overlay, so that they seem to break into dance. The minimal story-on each page Nicky asks, ""Where are we going?"" and the father defers an answer-is no more than a pretext for the special effects, but the simple, luminous artwork, with softly glowing purples and bright touches of brilliant yellow, makes the night world seem magical and full of promise. Ages 2-6. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Hardcover - 12 pages - 978-1-57717-290-1
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