Monday 24 January 2011

All Through the Night

All Through the Night by Dean Jones (black dog books)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 9781742031521
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

A young boy is tucked into bed at night after playing with his toy train. But nothing is ordinary in All Through the Night. He is transported on a magical night time journey as a passenger on a train, flying past boats and nets full of fish, a giant cloud Sandman lighting their way with their safety assured as they pass through a storm by travelling in a giant bubble until, on the first hint of light, they head for home.

The minimal text is rhythmic, like a lullaby, and perfect to read out loud as a reassuring bedtime story. Rather than being something to fear, the night is full of magic and wonder and no harm can come one's way. Jones' illustrations are vibrant with a hint of nostalgia. It was hard for me to decide on my favourite: was it the one when the boy is woken by a seagull landing on his head; or that of the snails nibbling on the moon; or the new day with its city of toasters, eggs, milk jugs and orange slices?

I was fortunate to have my have my four-year-old niece and two-year-old nephew's assistance in reviewing this book. My nephew was mad on the train and kept flicking back and forth through the pages to show me each drawing of the train, including those on the end pages. While I was delighted in his enjoyment of the book, I was even more so with my niece's. Normally one to favour stories of fairies and princesses, she asked me to read and re-read All Through the Night

This beautifully presented picture book with its padded cover and special ticket to ride in its own pocket is a quality production and one for all young children. It is sure to become a family favourite.

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