The Definitive Guide to

If You Were Night

Written by Muon Thi Van & illustrated by Kelly Pousette
Published by Kids Can Press
5.08 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.0 / 5.0
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Prices as of Jan 26
Retail Price
used $7.22
Sep 1, 2020
Publication Date

What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

“Nighttime is dreamily illuminated through soothing text and remarkable diorama illustrations.”

If you were the night, would you “nestle under the covers” or choose to step into the darkness and explore the shadow-filled world? A child chooses adventure each time the question of “If you were the night, [what would you do?]” is posed, leading the way through the newly-discovered, night-time view of nature: a yard, pond, and forest accompanied by beautiful starlit skies and friendly nocturnal animals. As the night draws to a close and the deep black of the sky fades to blue, the question “If you were night / and all around was quiet / and all around was growing bright, / would you stay up to taste / a drop of morning dew?” is answered as the child tiredly watches the faint hints of sunrise with animal friends before snuggling back up into bed, the room dark to allow for well-deserved sleep as the bedroom window shows the brightening world outside. Van presents a dreamy and soothing poetic text that promotes mindfulness, introspection, and imagination, but the text is truly brought alive through Pousette’s incredibly executed paper-cut diorama illustrations. For a time of day that’s normally overlooked and unseen (due to both darkness and sleep patterns), night time is illuminated and enlivened in a remarkable way through even muted tones, making this a beautiful bedtime—or anytime—read.

What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

A poetic and evocative exploration of the natural world at night illustrated in illuminating paper-cut dioramas.<br/><br/>This dreamlike picture book asks the question: if you were night, what would you do? If you saw the moon tiptoe past your window, would you nestle under the covers? Or would you step outside to follow it? What if you felt a tail brush your ankle, would you freeze? Or skitter away? And if you saw an owl swoop from a branch, would you hide? Or join the hunt? All the while, the child pictured in the book chooses adventure, and thrillingly experiences a night like no other.<br/><br/>From the award-winning and acclaimed author M n Th? V?n comes a lyrical and evocative exploration of the natural world at night. The poetic language of the text engages all the senses as it gently poses questions that pull readers’ imaginations outdoors, where night creatures roam and everything seems different. Kelly Pousette’s intricate paper-cut dioramas, intriguingly presented with shadows and darkness falling around them, are packed with charming details for children to investigate. This unique and thought-provoking book is sure to encourage observation and spark curiosity — and many conversations. A wonderful read-aloud or bedtime story, this book also ties in beautifully with primary lessons about the natural world.

What Kind of Book is If You Were Night

Primarily about:

Where Does This Book Stand Out


The “Inventive” badge is awarded to books that offer exceptionally original illustrations.

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

B is for Bookworm
Book-loving mommy-to-be! Recently enjoyed The Hobbit, Becoming, and The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel.
5.0 / 7.0
The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
5.25 / 7.0
Mom of Boys
Mom of three little boys who love books about dragons, whangdoodles and magic.
5.0 / 7.0

Very unique paper-cut illustrations with a fun story that will help kids think about night and darkness in a new way.

Book Lists That Include If You Were Night

Book Topics › night
Children's Books About Night
Book Topics › nature
Neat Children's Books About Nature
Book Topics › bedtime
Best Children's Books About Bedtime
Book Topics › calming reads for bedtime
Calming Children's Books for Bedtime
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Who Wrote If You Were Night

Muon Thi Van

Muon Thi Van is the critically acclaimed picture book author of <i>In a Village by the Sea</i>, <i>The Little Tree</i>, and <i>The Most Terrible of All</i>. She lives in northern California with her family. Visit her at

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Who Illustrated If You Were Night

What Has Muon Thi Van Said About This Book

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What Has Kelly Pousette Said About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date:
September 1, 2020
Text Details:
The text is set in Tom’s New Roman.
Illustration Details:
The artwork in this book was created with paper-cut pieces and dry media in a diorama format, and colored with pastels.
Lexile® Level:

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