The Night Walk

by Marie Dorleans (Author)

The Night Walk
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Mama opened our bedroom door. Wake up, you two, she whispered. Let's go, so we get there on time. Excited, the sleepy family step outside into a beautiful summer night. The world is quiet and shadowy, filled with fresh smells and amazing sights. Is this what they miss when they're asleep? Together, they walk out of their sleeping village. What will they find in the dark landscape?

This beautiful and evocative book movingly recalls family trips and the excitement of unknown adventure, while celebrating the awe-inspiring joy of the natural world.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review

Urgency, exhilaration, and anticipation make the walk’s conclusion, a luminous, lemony daybreak, all the more powerful.... A gift—here night isn’t scary; the unknown is exhilarating and the ending sunny and clear.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

A pale-skinned family of four—two parents and two children—takes a blissful summer night walk into the countryside that gives way to a breathless conclusion in this picture book by Dorléans. Narrated by one of the children, the prose shines with sensory acuity as the family leaves a village behind them with a particular location in mind. "We left the road, and the path/ climbed gently out of the valley./ A train sliced through the darkness," one verso page reads as the family overlooks a landscape of fastidiously needled trees against a star-studded sky. Navy washes overlay graphite pencil and digital illustrations, with fine-lined detail so startlingly observed that readers will feel immersed in each expansive spread. Suspense builds as sparse beams of light illuminate the darkness page by page and each spread carries the family forward through the night. A graceful, perfectly paced appreciation of nature. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

'The poetic, evocative text immerses readers in a nocturnal world; as the family finds its way through the woods... Painstaking line and graphite-pencil shading create depth and dimension for the various tree-lined, rocky, and mountainous terrains depicted along the way. At long last, the four gather atop a boulder to witness the break of dawn - that's where we were going. This hushed, intimate picture book creates a respite from the demands of the daytime world and pulls readers into a moment of pure wonder and peace.' - The Horn Book Magazine, Starred Review

'I love, love, LOVE this book. It captures everything wonderful about family night time adventures, both the hushed tone and the quiet magic of earth, air and sky.'
- Jane Yolen, author of OWL MOON

Marie Dorleans
Marie Dorleans studied Art and History of Art at the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg, France. She graduated in 2010 and has worked as a children's book illustrator since then. The Night Walk is the winner of the French literary prize, the Prix Landerneau, in the best children's book category, and was a New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Book in 2021.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Floris Books
Publication date
April 20, 2021
BISAC categories
JUV029000 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | General
JUV013000 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | General
JUV032170 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | Camping & Outdoor Activities
Library of Congress categories
Family recreation
New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Books

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