Reviewed by: Beverly Slapin
Review Source: De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children
Book Author: Yuyi Morales
In this beautiful inverted go-to-bed story, full of magical realism and lots of love, Mamá Cielo (Mother Sky) convinces her young daughter, Nochecita (Little Night) to come out and darken the sky so that everyone can sleep. While Morales portrays Mamá Cielo as a beautiful, zaftig Mestiza with long braids flying, Nochecita is a chubby baby girl with glowing, dark, dark skin, happy and mischievous and adorable and well-loved. She is, after all, the night, so how could she be anything but dark?
This was Morales’s intention, she told me: to acknowledge and honor the beauty of brown skin by having a child represent the night. As such, while Little Night / Nochecita has the energy of a bedtime story, it’s as calming as the relationship between a loving mother and her child. And, as Morales told me, it celebrates her memories of her mother’s getting her and her sisters ready for bed, and how her sisters would run and hide in order to avoid going to sleep. Continue reading.
Little Night/Nochecita by Yuyi Morales
Published by Macmillan on June 28th 2016
Genres: Bilingual, Family, Girls and Women, Mexico, OwnVoices
Reading Level: Early Childhood, Grade K, Grades 1-2
Buy at Powell's Books
Also by this author: Rudas: Nino's Horrendous Hermanitas, Dreamers
Publisher's synopsis: A stunning bilingual story by award winning author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. As the long day comes to an end, Mother Sky fills a tub with falling stars and calls, "Bath time for Little Night!"
Little Night answers from afar, "Can't come. I am hiding and you have to find me, Mama. Find me now!"
Where could Little Night be? Down a rabbit hole? In a blueberry field? Among the stripes of bees? Exquisitely painted and as gentle as Little Night's dress crocheted from clouds, this is a story to treasure.
With a bilingual text in both English and Spanish, Little Night Nochecita by Yuyi Morales is a sweet story every child can enjoy.
Award-winning author and illustrator Yuyi Morales is the author of Caldecott Honor and Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Medal-winning Viva Frida, Pura Belpré (Illustration) Medal and Pura Belpré (Narrative) Honor book Los Gatos Black on Halloween, stunning bilingual bedtime story Little Night/Nochecita, Rudas: Niño's Horrendous Hermanitas, and other picture books for young readers. She also illustrated Thunder Boy Jr., written by Sherman Alexie.