Nightsong by Ari Berk, illustrated by Loren Long – Books for Kids to Read
So my six year old daughter loves bats. She loves Stella Luna. She also loved the one she found in our lot so much in fact, that she picked it up and had to go to Texas Children’s Hospital on a Saturday night where the entire family had to sit and wait as she received a round of rabies shots.
So when her beloved librarian at school read Nightsong to her class, she begged me to run to the library and borrow it to take home. I had never heard of Nightsong or the author Ari Berk, but I am so glad that I ran in after school today to grab it and read it at bedtime.
This book with a jet black cover is a precious story with soothing dark illustrations that is perfect for that last book before bed. Chiro, the main character, is an adorable little bat who is preparing to go out alone to find food for the first time.
He is worried about not seeing well and being alone, but his mother is confident that he has the ability to complete this task. She gently reminds him that he has to use his “…sense. Sense is the song you sing out into the world, and the world sings back to you.”
Sense for bats is echolocation but the way Berk writes about sense, it sounds like a reminder to your child that trusting their judgment when making good choices is the right thing to do. I also love how the mom is ready to let go and give her baby the push to find his own confidence within him.
Even though he was frightened at first, Chiro makes it home after a night of eating a full breakfast and discovering the world around him. After learning how to make his song fly out ahead of him, exploring is easy! The book’s prose is wonderful and poetic, but what really pulls it together is the illustrator’s soft, mainly black and gray, drawings.
Loren Long has drawn Chiro with wide eyes and floppy ears. Who doesn’t love a floppy ear bat? I am adding this book to our home library soon. Bonus, you can also buy a Chiro doll on Amazon if you have a kid like mine who loves bats so much she will pick them up!