cover image After Dark: Poems About Nocturnal Animals

After Dark: Poems About Nocturnal Animals

David L. Harrison, illus. by Stephanie Laberis. Wordsong, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62979-717-5

Harrison explores the active nighttime hours of 21 nocturnal species—amphibians, birds, fish, insects, mammals, and reptiles are all accounted for. Scientific facts and lifestyle insights, some slightly veiled, are woven into poetic language in a mix of free verse (“Mama skunk/ knows the story./ Never play/ in an empty street”) and rhyme (“Firefly females/ watch from the grass,/ checking each flash/ as suitors pass”). Warmth and foreboding emanate from the nocturnal creatures as Laberis’s shadowed nightscapes show a hum of quiet—and not so quiet—activity in an otherwise sleepy world: a mother wolf oversees rambunctious pups, cockroaches tackle a plate of noodles, and a hermit crab lays eggs on a moonlit shore. Back matter includes additional (and clarifying) facts about each subject mentioned. An immersive volume of nocturnes for young animal enthusiasts. Ages 5–9. [em](Feb.) [/em]