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*Night Shift* by Jessie Hartland
Night Shift
by Jessie Hartland
Ages 4-8 32 pages Bloomsbury USA October 2007 Hardcover    

The illustrations in this lovely hardback book, Night Shift, are more art than illustrations, according to the young expert whose opinion was asked for in preparation for reviewing. The pictures donít pander like so many childrenís books do, instead allowing a childís imagination to explore color and texture with confidence and diversity.

The topic is one near and dear to the hearts of any who are devoted night owls. It might shed some happy light on what can be done during the nighttime hours, and the positives, the assets in working late-hour jobs. It truly is a different world out there at night, but it isnít the scary, fretful world portrayed in ghost stories.

With developing little minds, it definitely doesnít hurt to show them an alternate way to view and live life. Not all lives ought to be the same, and this book illustrates that point. Hartman shows so many of the unsung workers who labor through the night, unseen by the folk of the daylight hours. In the morning, the streets are magically clean, the shop windows are decorated anew, and the donuts are always somehow fresh and hot. Who makes all this magic? That question is answered through a series of quirky anecdotes about the men and women who choose a night life.

Author and illustrator Jessie Hartland has added many tiny details in her mural-like paintings. From scruffy sprouting beards (5 a.m. shadows, mind you, not p.m.!) of the fishermen to names of the bands on the CDs played by the late-night DJs on the radio, the little surprises on each page are a delight.

Night Shift is a fabulous book for younger ones. Imaginations will be captured by the older kids as well, looking through the pages. And for all of the adults who have chosen nights as their own, it will bring a smile.

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  Carolynn Evans/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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