The Night World, by Mordicai Gerstein

I know very well that I haven’t written in over a month, and I’m so sorry. I even had something ready to post a few days ago and it disappeared into the nether-regions of the internet, sending me off an internal cliff of despair. But here I am picking myself back up off the floor and attempting to rewrite it. Perhaps you’ll remember that we’re renovating a house we bought back in December and were hoping to move into it around the time school let out, around the time the lease on our rented schoolhouse was up as well.

I’m just going to interject quickly with this: Please, dear friends, if I can give you any advice ever, it’s this: when you watch those HGTV shows where they take a falling down house and turn it into something amazing in ten weeks for about ten thousand dollars, don’t ever think “well, that seems reasonable, we can totally do that.” It’s not and you can’t.

When that didn’t happen, and we’d come back from our summer trip to Mexico (which was awesome, by the way), we moved into our ahem 14-foot long 1967 camper parked on our property next to the nowhere-near-ready-to-move-into house. We did that for a couple of weeks then found out we were able to move back into the schoolhouse for a few weeks and that pretty much brings us all up to date. In two days we’ll move back into the camper. The new hopeful move-in date for the house is maybe before school starts. After that it’ll be before Halloween, and if Christmas rolls around and we’re not in it, you’ll be able to find me face down in the bleak white snow having given up entirely and probably buying airplane tickets for somewhere, anywhere warm and far, far away. On my phone. Because we haven’t had internet since we left the schoolhouse the first time. Anyhow, that’s the long way of typing out my poor excuse for not writing: I hate having to type anything longer than a short email on my phone, and that’s really my only access to the outside world right now. I apologize. Please forgive me. And you can bet I’m hitting “save draft” right now pretty much after every paragraph.

I went to our local bookstore about a week ago ostensibly to buy a book (some books) for my father for his birthday and of course ended up in the children’s section where I bought a book (some books) for the kids. In the week that we’ve had the following book, I’ve read it exactly 14 times (gotta love naptime).

Here’s what I love about The Night World, by Mordicai Gerstein: while it’s about the dark, it’s not about being afraid of the dark. It’s not about not being afraid. It’s just about the dark being there, making everything look different. It’s just about noticing it.
The Night World, by Mordicai Gerstein |

A little boy is awakened by his cat, who like all cats only want to go outside when it’s least convenient. As he follows the cat from his bedroom into his living room, he’s struck by how different his house looks. He’s not looking at his robe hanging on his bedroom door thinking it looks like a monster, or wondering what could be lurking under the bed. He just notices that the house looks differentIMG_8456He goes outside and sees that the yard, too, is devoid of color. Everything looks familiar, he recognizes silhouettes and outlines but isn’t sure what color everything should be. The illustrations are done entirely in black and shades of grey. IMG_8459 There are animals in the yard that all seem to be awaiting something big, one by one they announce that “it’s coming!” Of course, the dawn of the new day is coming, and as the sun comes up, light and color finally flood back into the world. IMG_8458The Night World is a perfect bedtime read- quiet, calm, and fairly short. We love this book, and I think you will too.

I will do my very best to get another post out in a more timely fashion, it’s crazy how summertime can get away from us. We’re riding bikes and swimming and paddle boarding and building sand castles and rock hunting over here. What are you doing this summer?


These aren’t book reviews, per se, but more profiles of the really, really good ones. Recommendations, really, for which I am not compensated. If you’re looking to buy any of them you can click on the the links and cover photos in each post, OR you can click on the little box over there on the right that says “amelie’s bookshop (buy the books)” and it will take you to my Amazon Affiliate store- you’re buying them as you normally would through Amazon, except that I get a teeny tiny commission. Or even better, walk on down to your local independent bookseller and support them.

6 thoughts on “The Night World, by Mordicai Gerstein

  1. Oh goodness, I have been eagerly anticipating Gerstein’s newest book and am even more excited to get my hands on it after reading your post. Isn’t he brilliant? Everything he touches is amazing…and so different. Best of luck with finishing the renovations. I’m sure it will be beautiful. I’m having a killer time trying to stick to my weekly posting schedule, and I don’t have half the excuses that you do! At least we’re reading. 🙂


    • Yes he is brilliant- you’ll love it. I promised myself I’d do a weekly posting and boy did that ever go down the tubes when the internet disappeared. Happy summer reading though, and thanks for commenting!


  2. Oh my goodness — what a major undertaking. I hope you’re on the upside of being finished with the renovations. Enjoyed the book review. I like calm books, especially for bedtime reads. This sounds wonderful.


  3. We’ve been reading all things trains. My 2.5 year old is hyperfocused on all things steamie. Our fave is the original collection of Thomas the Tank Engine stories, which my husband found in hardcover somewhere on the internet. The language is rich, fun, and opens his imagination to his favorite characters in the classical way. Looking forward to weaving some of your recommendations as time goes on.


    • Thanks for reading my blog, Jen! My son loved trains at that age, too, and one of his favorites was called “Chugga chugga choo choo,” and it was perfect for bedtime, lots of fun rhymes and a wonderful winding-down energy.


Leave a Reply to Amélie Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s