Lizi Boyd. Chronicle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4521-1894-9
Boyd follows Inside Outside (2013) with another wordless picture book, this one about a boy’s nocturnal backyard explorations. Working in gouache, Boyd paints on vast expanses of black, outlining the boy (who could easily be the same one from the previous book) and his surroundings in a muted gray-blue; using a flashlight, he aims a cone of white light high and low, creating pops of color amid the darkness. He finds a lost boot, spots bats overhead and mice underfoot, and notices a porcupine in the crook of a tree, among other discoveries. While the book clearly demonstrates just how much animal activity takes place at night, Boyd’s goals aren’t strictly naturalistic. After the boy drops his flashlight, it’s retrieved by the very animals he found before; one by one, they turn the flashlight’s crisp beam on him, observing him just as he did them. Once again, Boyd showcases a child who is fully capable of educating and entertaining himself with only a few simple tools (a camping tent, a flashlight) at his disposal. Ages 2–6. Agent: Liza Pulitzer-Voges, Eden Street. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/02/2014
Release date: 08/12/2014
Genre: Children's
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