Night Story

Night StoryHarcourt Brace Jovanovitch, 1986
Written by Nancy Willard

A young dreamer in pajamas journeys deep into forests of the night. At a city of clouds on the edge of morning, he turns homeward. In his room are the familiar toys and pets that, changed, had been his dream companions.

This poetic dream primer recreates the feeling of transformation and pursuit that adults take for granted in dreams. Potentially frightening aspects of the storya wolf, animals chasing and eating other animals, a dizzying horseback ride above the cloudsare not daunting to the child adventurer, who is always in charge and who accepts them and continues on. Moreover, he is greatly rewarded for his curiosity and brave spirit. At the end he is pictured absorbed in this story, the only thing he was able to bring back.

Willard’s dream-poem has simplicity, rhythm and closure. Plume’s colored pencil drawings embellish the story without overpowering it. Her red-capped mushrooms, flying horse and cookie-cutter stars are scraps of fairy tales remembered. Her mountains and forests are inviting and scary.

—School Library Journal