What do things do at night when humans are asleep? A universal fear is the dark and its mysteries! What comes to life under our beds that makes us pull even a thin sheet up over our feet on the hottest night as a talisman against what awaits our defenseless sleep? Eve Bunting exposes the secrets of the gargoyles, those stone, misshapen creatures that squat on the eaves of buildings during the day. David Wiesner’s shades of gray illustrations give life to the grotesque little water spouts and their nocturnal rumpuses.
Recommended by: Kate Stehman, Librarian, Pennsylvania USA
32 pages 978-0440836674 Ages 5-8
Keywords: gargoyles, spooky, night, nighttime, secrets, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old
*********** In this stunning collaboration of two exceptional talents, the striking charcoal illustrations and nimble text reveal what happens at night when the gargoyles come to life.--from the publisher
What child hasn't looked at a sculpture or creatures carved in stone and wondered what would happen if they came to life? Bunting's canny phrasing and Wiesner's ominous black-and-white illustrations answer the question perfectly. When night comes, the gargoyles on a museum building come alive. They "gargoyle-hunch" with friends around a fountain, "rumble-laugh" at the night watchman, and resume their stone facades with empty eyes unblinking when morning arrives. If anyone could bring gargoyles to life pictorially, it's Wiesner. High-rise angles and perspectives are peopled with pigeons and squirrels; light is played against dark, forming menacing shadows; spreads and panels zoom in on narrow and wide-angle views; all creating a delicously eerie, spooky scenario. The brief text cunningly induces liveliness and wit with well-honed word choices: "they grunt of what they've seen...they grump of summer passing...they boom those gargoyle laughs that rumble thick because there is no space inside their solid stone for laughs to somersault." This is not for very young children, but it's sure to have enormous appeal for older audiences. From stony-eyed stares to their merry scorn of humans, it's gargoyle gleefulness. Julie Cummins, New York Public Library