The Night Walk

SKU: ISBN 9781782506393
$24.30 CAD $26.95

by Marie Dorléans

  • A luminous, dreamy story with lyrical text that follows a family on a mysterious moonlit adventure
  • Rich, atmospheric illustrations brilliantly evoke a night-time journey through sleepy streets and rugged, beautiful countryside
  • Translated from French, the original edition won the prestigious Prix Landerneau, in the best children's picture book category
  • Celebrates the importance of family time and the breathtaking majesty of the natural world

The dreamy story of a family's exciting journey through the night. Beautiful and evocative, this award-winning picture book celebrates the importance of family time and the awe-inspiring power of the natural world.

Recommended for young readers aged 4 - 8 years old, but sure to be enjoyed by many older as well.

Hardcover, 32 pages.  275 x 196 mm.

Floris Books.


Reviews

'Awash in nocturnal blue, Dorléans's graphite pencil illustrations of a family of nighttime explorers evoke a luminous sense of wonder. From bedside lamps to the delicate beam of stars, hints of light punctuate each spread, cleverly directing the reader's attention to hidden details -- an owl atop a tree, a badger skulking in the grass, a pair of mice among the rocks -- and reflecting the warm bond of a family.'
-- Jessica Agudelo, New York Times

'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.'
-- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

'Perfectly paced page turns capture the family's trek and the wonders that await in the world after nightfall. Therein lies the joy of this picture book: Both the journey and the destination are delightful.
A palette of dusky, spectral blues envelops the family on their journey, interrupted only by pops of pale yellow from bedside lamps, porch lights, flashlights, the train's headlights and the moon. When they finally reach the summit of a mountainous slope, the expansive vista and the revelation of their ultimate objective is breathtaking.
Never hurried, this eloquent story is a beautifully measured tale not unlike one giant inhale (the journey) followed by a long, happy exhale (the closing spreads). Pick up a copy and make a night of it.'
--BookPage

'A deep and amazing read. It invites us all to think about adventuring out into the world in the dark, discovering how the world feels with nature around us, darkness, summer heat and wonder. The text in the book is simple, guiding us through the night's adventure, pointing out what can be seen and heard, and allowing us all to marvel at the world covered in night. The text never gets in the way of our amazement, instead encouraging us to see more and play along.
The blue, oh the blue in this book. It perfectly captures the night, lit only by the moon and the stars. Broken at times by windows or flashlight beams or passing trains, the night is allowed to take over all of the pages…
Brilliant, magical and immersive..'
-- Waking Brain Cells

'Though their colors are few, the book's illustrations are lively and lovely, making the world feel awake even before light breaks over the hills in this story about chasing natural wonders.'
-- Foreword Reviews

'This picture book is full of vivid sensory details and atmospheric illustrations that create an experience of nature that both the young and young at heart will certainly cherish.
Dorleans (The Epic Race) hooks her audience on the first page as the parents wake two sleeping children snuggled in their beds, "Wake up, you two... Let's go, so we get there on time." Where could the family need to go so late at night? [...] The mystery is solved in a wonderfully satisfying, spectacular fashion at the book's conclusion.
In The Night Walk, Dorleans depicts the vastness that can be explored in a picture book with minimal words and a limited palette of primarily blue, black and white. Her text pairs with her beautifully detailed graphite pencil and watercolor art to emphasize the expanse of the natural world. The result is awe-inspiring.
-- Jen Forbus, Shelf Awareness

'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

'This family outing, translated from the French, is a sensory delight, detailed with sounds and scents and tactile sensations that are enhanced by experiencing the world in, literally, a different light. Dorléans works wonders within a limited color range of rich blues and warm and bright whites, concluding with a wordless spread of yolk yellow sky and a glaring white sun almost too bright to view without blinking.'
-- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

'From the chirping of crickets to the scent of grass to the snap of dead branches as the family walks through the forest, the text uses sensory details effectively to help listeners imagine the experience. Beautifully composed and often striking, the illustrations were drawn in pencil, painted with watercolors, and completed digitally.
This rewarding picture book, first published in France, invites children to experience a memorable encounter with the natural world.'
-- Booklist, Starred Review

'Watercolor and graphite pencil illustrations depict an enveloping nocturnal world through saturations of indigo. Young readers' hearts will quicken, feeling embraced by night made real with breathtaking, full-bleed washes of blue that stretch across double-page spreads. This wondrous darkness gleams with reassuring lights (from lamps, windows, flashlights, glinting stars, a woozy moon) while meticulous pencil work provides specificity. A sweater's cables claim readers' attention, as do blades of grass, pine needles, fronds of fern, and a lacework of leaves in a magical night sky perforated by stars. Equally evocative sentences (in taut translations from French) appear in clear, white lettering, engaging the senses: "We threaded through the whispering forest. The earth was damp, the bark smelled comforting." Keeping pace with this family, readers wonder where they're headed and why they must start to hurry near the book's conclusion. 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.'
-- Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

'Though the plot and characterization are minimal, the figurative language and journey are rich with imagery and possibility.'
--Youth Services Book Review

'Perfectly paced page turns capture the family's trek and the wonders that await in the world after nightfall. Therein lies the joy of this picture book: Both the journey and the destination are delightful...
Dorléans’ mastery of language (with superb work from translator Polly Lawson) is especially apparent. Her sensory details are remarkable and vivid...
When they finally reach the summit of a mountainous slope, the expansive vista and the revelation of their ultimate objective is breathtaking.
Never hurried, this eloquent story is a beautifully measured tale not unlike one giant inhale (the journey) followed by a long, happy exhale (the closing spreads). Pick up a copy and make a night of it.'
-- BookPage

'Do you remember that feeling of mystery that surrounded night time when you were younger? I loved going on road trips and getting glimpses of night life wherever we were and this book highlights that feeling beautifully. The Night Walk is about a family who wakes up in the middle of the night for a hike to catch the sun rise. The artwork is so beautiful with the contrasting lights in the dark and captures that special subtle magic so well. I'm definitely making it a goal to do this with my kids this summer to share this kind of moment with them as well!'
-- Kid Lit is Lit, Instagram

'Gorgeous and adventurous... this tale of a family’s midnight hike is pretty much the perfect, starlit, dream-come-true for me! ... Splendid through and through.'
-- OrangeMarmaladeBooks.com


Author

Marie Dorléans 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.