CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 32. . . .April 20, 2018
Red Sky at Night.
Toronto, ON: Tundra, May, 2018.
40 pp., hardcover & EPUB, $21.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-101-91783-1 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-101-91785-5 (EPUB).
Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 3-8.
Review by Jill Griffith.
Reviewed from F&Gs.
Long ago, here and far away, people looked for clues in nature to predict the weather. They learned from experience by watching the shapes of clouds or noticing the behavior of animals. This wisdom was passed down through sayings like the ones in this book.
Red Sky At Night is a clever picture book that brings together a family adventure and common weather sayings as Grandpa takes his grandchildren on a fishing trip. As the trip progresses and the weather changes, the group sail for home to escape the coming storm.
According to endpaper notes, “Elly MacKay is a paper artist, in addition to being a children’s book author and illustrator. Her distinctive pieces are made using paper and ink, and then set into a miniature theater and photographed, giving them their unique three-dimensional quality.” The strength of this title lies in the illustrations which evoke the feelings that the pending weather evokes – waves, sun, clouds, and my favourite two-page spread in which the reader can view both above and below the water and everything makes sense. The “Red sky in the morning” page is also worth noting for its spectacular hues of red, orange and yellow. Red Sky At Night is a book to be savored.
The story ends with, “Now that you know a saying or two, can you predict what the weather will do?” There are 23 sayings in the book, so more than a saying or two, which made the book a little longer than it needs to be, but the illustrations and the sayings are cleverly woven together to keep the reader intrigued. The story behind each of the 23 sayings is explained at the end of the book, along with information as to whether or not they are true. Budding and amateur meteorologists will enjoy this title, as will Canadian adults and children alike, since, let’s be honest, all Canadians are experts on the weather!
Jill Griffith is the Youth Services Manager at Red Deer Public Library in Red Deer, AB.
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