Title: Kitten and the Night Watchman
Author: John Sullivan
Illustrator: Taeeun Yoo
Publisher: Paula Wiseman Books, 2019
Literary Awards Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for Writer (2019)
Themes: night watchmen, different jobs, worry, companionship. Kittens, belonging, comfort
The night watchman
hugs his wife and kids and drives to work.
All night he is alone.
Every hour he makes his rounds.
Kitten and the Night Watchman is inspired by the true story of author John Sullivan meeting a stray cat while working as a night watchman. The cat, Beebe, was John’s companion for seventeen years.
Why I like this book:
A really gentle, empathetic story full of common feelings for young children (worrying about a new friend, relief, belonging) as the night watchman loses his new little night companion during some worrying moments in the middle of the story. It is also a great introduction to the lonely job of being a night watchmen. I love how the dad is given such caring gestures and thoughts: he gently catches a moth and releases it outside; he thinks of his children while working. Sullivan uses simple but poetic language creating strong imagery to describe the nightly routine.
Garbage trucks line up like circus elephants.
Yoo’s peaceful muted-tones artwork with cool shadow-play somehow creates a life and intimacy in this quiet construction site at night. This is the kind of understated story that stays with you a long while after reading. And, well, it is hard to go wrong with the adoption of an adorable stray kitten! A particular winner if you like construction equipment and/or kitties!
Pair With, Good Night, Good Night Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.