The Midnight Fair

by Gideon Sterer (Author) Mariachiara Di Giorgio (Illustrator)

The Midnight Fair
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

As darkness falls on the fairgrounds, the animals venture out of the woods for one magical, memorable night! An exhilarating wordless picture book.

Far from the city, but not quite the countryside, lies a fairground. When night comes and the fair is empty, something unexpected happens. Wild animals emerge from the forest, a brave raccoon pulls a lever, and the roller coasters and rides explode back into bright, neon life. It's time for the woodland creatures to head to the fair!

In a gorgeous wordless picture book, author Gideon Sterer and illustrator Mariachiara Di Giorgio offer an exuberant take on what animals are up to when humans are asleep. Suffused with color and light, the panel illustrations celebrate the inherent humor and joy in deer flying by on chair-swings, a bear winning a stuffed bear, three weasels carrying a soft pretzel, and a badger driving a bumper car.

With thrills both spectacular and subtle, Midnight Fair will have readers punching their tickets again and again to revel in this fantastic nocturnal world.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Captivating spreads by Di Giorgio (Professional Crocodile) tell a wordless story about a night of magic for a forest's animal denizens. Golden eyes glow in the dark as the last human closes up a pop-up county fairground and heads out. When he's gone, two enterprising raccoons throw the big power lever back on, and the animals stream in through a fence opening. Painting from close up, Di Giorgio creates the sense that viewers are part of the crowd, and bathes every spread in brilliant, theatrical light. Animals large and small ride the swings, the roller coaster, and the carousel, paying for their tickets with forest currency: blackberries, acorns, and pinecones. A wolf tosses a ring and wins a goldfish, and a hedgehog waddles by, quills studded with treats. Sterer (From Ed's to Ned's) imagines candid moments as a fox parent reclines in a spinning teacup while its kit holds on to the rim with rapt attention. Morning comes, and with it, a quiet, hurried retreat. Watching a whole forest full of creatures encounter the fair delivers a sheaf of unexpected delights--especially when they take pleasure in all the same things their human counterparts do. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Gideon Sterer
Gideon Sterer is the author of many books for children. He grew up in the woods of upstate New York, where his parents owned a small zoo. After hours he would often run around and let the animals out of their cages. Who knows what sort of midnight mischief they got into? Gideon Sterer lives in Brooklyn.

Mariachiara Di Giorgio is an illustrator, storyboard artist, and concept designer. She created her first picture book, the wordless Professional Crocodile, with writer Giovanna Zoboli. Her work has been exhibited at the Bologna Children's Book Fair and with the New York Society of Illustrators. Mariachiara Di Giorgio lives in Rome, Italy.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
February 20, 2021
Age Range
3 - 7 years

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