One Dark Night
Written by Hazel Hutchins

Illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung
Viking 2001
ISBN 0-670-89246-7 • 32 pages


One dark night, Jonathan watches from his window as a summer storm rumbles in the distance. Outside, a stray cat searches the bushes for something. As lightning flashes and the first heavy raindrops begin to fall, Jonathan worries: will the stray cat find what she's looking for before the thunderstorm is upon them? Young listeners will delight in the drama of a summer storm come to life-and breathe a sigh of relief at the story's reassuring ending.

“Hartung alternates scenes of inky darkness, lit by flashes of lightning, with close-ups of the kittens and their mother, all of whom are seen at the end nestled cozily in a box atop Jonathan’s bed, “safe from the rain and the wind / and the rolling thunder... “ With suspense, compassion, kittens, and safety all rolled into one brief, comforting story, this is more than likely to become a popular bedtime choice, especially on stormy nights.”
– Kirkus

“The heart of this story is its illustrations, created by the manipulation of oil-paint glazes. Hartung’s blotting technique provides contrast between a complex detailed background and the simple drawings of people and animals in the foreground. This contrast and the opposition of the dark night and the well-lit housereduce any fear children might have about the storm....
Children will share Jonathan’s concern for the cats
and will take comfort in the story’s resolution.
A wonderful read-aloud selection”
– School Library Journal

illuminating details and contrasting moods. Outdoor scenes, awash in dark blue and gray hues, are often framed with silhouettes ofrecognizable objects; indoors, rooms are warm and glowing. Alternating perspectives add further drama and intimacy.The dark, Gothic-looking book jacket implies mystery, but the story itself is about the welcome comfortof safe havens,
for humans and animals alike.”

– Booklist
Awards & Honors

• CBC Children’s Choice Award
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