The Nights of the World tells the story of the days and nights of five children who live in five very different parts of the world. The book travels from North Africa, to sub-Saharan Africa, to the Caribbean, to Alaska, and finally Asia, This allows young readers to learn that although we are all very different, we share many similarities. It demonstrates how we all share similar rhythms of night and day, but we do so in very different ways.
The focal point of the book is the interactive illustrations with multicultural, albeit a simplistic multicultural, appeal. The Nights of the World includes window shutters with images of how each child spends their night on top. Their day-time activities are hidden underneath. This structure allows for discovery and will engage young readers. The illustrations are done in bright, bold, vibrant colors that help make this book stand out from so many similar stories.
This picture book is a perfect selection for bedtime reading. The rhythmic text and repetitions are soothing and the repetitive structural pattern – night and day, night and day – will calm and prepare children for their own bedtime.
The Nights of the World is ideal for children, who are able to read the text along with you, as well as those who have not yet begun to read, who will happily help you pull the tabs to reveal each new image. I would recommend this book for ages four and up.
Reading this book can facilitate discussion with your child about what they did during the day and what they do at night. (Hopefully you’ll get the right answer – “Sleep in my comfy bed!”)
Check the WRL catalog for Nights of the World.