As our daylight hours get shorter, darkness encroaches on our day earlier and earlier as the year progresses. This bodes well for certain kinds of activities, such as star gazing and shadow puppets. It’s also perfect for storytime when your kids go to bed.
Midnight Creatures: A Pop-up Shadow Search by Helen Friel makes storytime interactive, mysterious, and quite different. This 10-page book includes five pop-up scenes to shine your flashlight through (or your cell phone’s flashlight), and hunt within the shadow scenes for several nocturnal creatures. Each scene depicts a different ecosystem with 5-6 animals to locate, along with interesting facts about each of them. Find a lemur in the jungle, a snail in a cave, a barn owl in the woodlands, an anglerfish in the deep ocean, or a kiwi bird, who is nocturnal.
This book is made in an interesting fashion. Each spread of pages has three sections of cardstock that pop up as you open the book and turn each page. The cardstock sections combine to create images of creatures on the wall as you shine a light through them. No one section creates the image of the animal; they all work together to create the complete shape. (It works best when you place the book about a foot from the wall.)
So, along with your kids, shine a light on different parts of the pop-up pages to reveal each of the animals. Then, once spotted, together read the description of the animal, which includes where the animal can be found and other interesting facts. Even very young kids will love to spot the animals, finding them again each time you read through the book.
I recommend enjoying Midnight Creatures as the first book at bedtime storytime, as your kids may get quite excited as they spot the animals. Then you can transition to more calm books that are better for lulling them to sleep.
Midnight Creatures comes out on October 18th and is available for pre-order for less than $20 (on Amazon). It is the perfect activity for families this autumn and all winter long.
Note: I received a copy of this book for review purposes.