cover image The Way Home in the Night

The Way Home in the Night

Akiko Miyakoshi. Kids Can, $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77138-663-0

A mother carries her child home at nightfall through quiet city streets. They’re rabbits—rabbits who wear clothing and walk upright—and the city is populated with other assorted animals, all going about their business. “I hear a phone ring,” the child rabbit says. Through a window, readers see a ram in shirtsleeves answering the phone. “A light flickers. Maybe someone is watching TV.” Through another window, a bear sits in front of a television. Other animals are seen, each with its own story. Once the child rabbit is home and in bed, her thoughts wander. “Is the person on the phone getting ready for bed?” she wonders. Miyakoshi (The Storm) shows the ram in his bathroom, toothbrush in hand; she revisits the others, too. A web of enchantment draws readers into this affecting story. The chance to see adults going about their lives unobserved, the arresting combination of animal features and human surroundings, the classical proportions of Miyakoshi’s charcoal drawings, and the way that a day’s events replay and trigger thoughts in the moments before sleep all combine in a distinctive nighttime treasure. Ages 3–7. (Apr.)