Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Daylight Starlight Wildlife

Daylight Starlight Wildlife

Wendell Minor
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Penguin, 2015   ISBN: 978-0399246623

Often we humans don’t notice the differences between the world during the day and the world during the night because we go from artificially lit schools and work places during the day, to artificially lit homes at night. We are often too busy to look outside to see what happens as the sun rises in the sky and how the scene changes when it sets in the early evening and night falls.

In nature the worlds of daylight and nighttime are actually very different. The animals that we see in the daytime are often fast asleep at night, and those that choose to come out when darkness falls are often rarely seen in the daytime at all. For example, during the day a red-tailed hawk “soars high in the sky and scans the earth for food.” At night a different predator floats through the sky; an owl “swoops” on silent wings, looking for prey below.

During the daytime a cottontail rabbit hops into a field, her little kits around her. In this same sun touched world a large woodchuck mother, looking much like a round teddy bear, leads her cubs across a meadow. At night another mother comes searching for food. She is a possum and she carries her pink-nosed, dark-eyed babies on her back. A mother skunk also comes out when the sun is gone to lead her litter into the open so that they find food.

As the sun shines a squirrel leaves its home in the trees to seek out acorns on the ground. It is time for this busy little mammal to begin storing food for the winter. When the sun is a just a glow on the horizon another squirrel species, a flying squirrel, “glides gracefully from tree to tree though the starlit night.”

In this beautiful picture book the lives and worlds of diurnal and nocturnal animals are explored using glorious artwork and a lyrical text. In all, children get to meet twenty-two species of mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. At the back of the book the author provides his readers with further information about the animals featured in the book.