Night Animals by Gianna Marino
Learning and Laughing
By Connie Goldin, LMFT
Gianna Marino is the author of four books that I just love. Too Tall Houses, Following Papa’s SONG, and Meet Me at The Moon precede her latest children’s book, Night Animals. Each book is completely different from the others, and each book has a wonderful story and beautiful illustrations.
Night Animals made me laugh out loud. We meet “Possum” and “Skunk” at the outset of a goofy adventure. Possum is hiding, because he’s afraid of the dark and of “night animals.” Skunk curls up next to Possum in the hollowed-out tree trunk, but it’s too tight a space. They move out into the dark, looking this way and that, in case they spot a night animal. It doesn’t take long for them to hear a spooky sound and a frightened wolf, who too, is afraid of night animals. One after another, the critters bump into more animals who are afraid of the dark. It is a hilarious romp that includes the poor opossum being continuously sprayed by the skunk. As a person who lives with opossums and skunks in my neighborhood, I found it particularly funny–skunk spray could make anyone faint! Kids will laugh when they see poor Possum hold his nose and fall to the ground when he’s behind Skunk. Finally a wise bat, hanging upside down, sets everyone straight, telling the critters, “… you ARE night animals.” Night Animals is a fun book for everyone!
I found inspiration for an art project to accompany Night Animals on SturdyforCommonThings.com. All you need is black construction paper, children’s oil pastels, googly eyes and glue.
Here is my version, and no, the crescent is not a banana, it’s the moon!
Here is a five- year-old’s version: