Sunday, November 23, 2008

Crazy Good Children's Books: The Night Eater

I bought this book for Beeper for his first Christmas--The Night Eater by Ana Juan. I saw it at a quirky little local toy store in Saint Paul called Essence of Nonsense and just fell in love with the GORGEOUS illustrations. I am still knocked out by the illustrations after reading this book what must be about a gazillion times. And, what's more--the story is utterly charming and fanciful.The story revolves around the Night Eater who consumes the night each morning so that the sun might arise each day and greet the world...and it just so happens that the Night Eater also LOVES to do his job--which is to gorge himself on the night. Describing deep, black nights as being like "bitter chocolate" or the the cloudy nights tasting "as light and sweet as cotton candy." So all this yummy night naturally leads to the Night Eater overindulging and putting on a little extra weight which he becomes sensitive about (and who wouldn't?) when his friend the moon makes notes of his expanding waistline.
Wounded by the insensitivity of the Moon, the Night Eater stubborningly refuses to eat any more night. The result, at first, is a dark world of wonder, filled with nocturnal animals and flowers, but then the earth becomes cold and people begin to yearn for ths sun. Children cry out for the Night Eater to return, the moon grows tired of shining all the time and plants begin to die. So the Night Eater does return--and quite happily begins chowing down again on the ever-so-tasty night--keeping a piece of night always tucked under his hat so he will never forget "the sweetness of the night."
A lovely book--a myth-like story and delicious to look at.

1 comment:

cathy gaubert said...

oh, lovely! thank you for turning me on to this book. ana juan is absolutely amazing! she illustrated a book about frida that you must's a favorite in our house. to say that i love this book is really an understatement. it truly touches my heart! :)