It’s Night Time

Maria Eloisa C. Quiambao, illustrated by Nikolai C. Quiambao

Publisher: Partridge Pages: 24 Price: (paperback) $21.00 ISBN: 9781543747997 Reviewed: July, 2020 Author Website: Visit »

It’s Night Time is a mother’s warm way of sidling her daughter toward sleep.

It’s Night Time is a rhyming picture book that serves as a gentle recap of a day shared between a mother and daughter. The verse comes from the mother’s perspective and highlights specific activities the two enjoyed, such as making art or eating pancakes together.

Each verse follows construction similar to this: “It’s nighttime, little one./ It’s nighttime little one./ We ran and played,/ And made this serenade./ But it’s nighttime, little one.” Different activities – e.g. “made lemonade,” “danced and swayed” “hid in the shade”—are substituted into each new stanza.

The text is supported by brightly colored illustrations by the author’s own six-year-old daughter. While imperfect, as would be expected from any artist of that age, the pictures are energetic and delightfully whimsical, such as an image of the girl running on the beach to catch a crab that has a tiny heart balanced on its back.

The cover copy mentions that the poem is “a heartfelt lullaby,” but the tune isn’t indicated. Lacking the musical element, the verse feels especially repetitive, given that four of the five lines in each verse repeat in each stanza.

Additionally, there is no narrative arc or noticeable plot to the story, other than that it starts in the morning and ends as the girl is being tucked into bed. This may make it less engaging for some children. And in a few stanzas, the rhyme is awkward or forces odd sentence construction, as in: “We ran and played,/ Had our pancakes shared” or, “We ran and played/ Some art we made.”

Inevitably, this book won’t mean as much to the average reader as it does to the author-illustrator pair, but it’ a vibrant and charming gesture of love and, despite its flaws, could possibly help when bedtime calls.

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