Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Lights Out: A Review and Picture Book Giveaway

Congratulations to Kathy Wiechman who won the ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) of EQUAL from last week's blog. For those of you who didn't win, I'll be posting a review at a later date and you'll have an additional chance to win the book.


Marsha Diane Arnold is another author who is no stranger to my blog. This week I'm delighted to be a part of the launch of her newest book, Lights Out with magnificent illustrations by Susan Reagan. As I think you'll see in the review below, Susan does a great job of amplifying Marsha's text. 

For centuries, people on Earth looked to the night sky for navigation, for inspiration, for wonder. But today, we can barely see that sky through all the artificial light. In fact, we see less than 1 percent of the night sky compared with people of the 1600’s. Author's Note

Today's children learn about air and water pollution, but what about light pollution? As a child, Marsha was surrounded by Kansas farmland. She remembers climbing out on the roof at night and being enthralled by the constellations. In 2008 on a Sequoia National Park Foundation's Authors in the Back Country adventure, she spent a week camped at 10,000 feet. She looked out of her tent at the darkness and dreamed of writing a picture book about the dangers of light pollution. Lights Out is the result of that dream.


Look at this beautiful opening:

Little fox peeks out from her den. Beetle flies above her. "Lights out!" she barks. But the lights stay on.

Fox and Beetle begin a journey to find a place where lights do not
disturb nighttime darkness. Unfortunately, that place is hard to find.
Instead, they discover all sorts of lights: Traffic lights, floodlights, blinking lights, and flashing lights. 

Where is Darkness? Where is Night, where coyotes sing, owls hunt, and birds fly across continents, where foxes move through the dark and beetles are more than beetles? 

The two begin their search around the world for Darkness.

They find a songbird who is confused by all the light because there are no stars to guide her. 

The songbird joins their search through the whole world--but everywhere is the same. Lights. No Darkness.

In the wetlands, Frog quietly waits for a nighttime chorus. Without Dark, only silence.

Frog joins the trio and so does a bear who can't hibernate because of the light. 

Through the forests and the meadows, across highlands, deserts, dunes, on tundras, prairies, and high mountains, they search.

When they come upon baby turtles on the seashore who can't make it back into the ocean, the friends take action and shepherd the hatchlings back to the sea.

The baby turtles follow Firefly and moon's glow, patterns of the Night emerge. Hatchlings paddle safely away.

The book closes with the right "lights" on and well,'ll just have to purchase the book to see the perfect ending!

Children will get the message: light pollution is harmful to animals. Teachers, parents, and grandparents can add that human biorhythms can also be affected by too much light. This will be a great classroom resource for pre-school through third-grade students. 

Here is a link to several downloadable STEAM activities to go along with Lights Out


One fortunate reader will win this book! Leave me your email address (if you are new to my blog) and I'll enter your name. Giveaway ends August 22; U.S. addresses only. For additional chances, share this on social media or start following my blog--just let me know what you do in the comments. 


Connie Porter Saunders said...

Carol, I enjoyed your review and I love how the use of color in the illustrations perfectly demonstrate the subject: vibrant pops of color on sometimes muted background! Thank you for sharing!

tricia said...

This book looks stunning!

Carol Baldwin said...

It is stunning, Tricia. Thanks for stopping by.

Debbie Allmand said...

Absolutely stunning illustrations amplifying the text. Such a wonderful book for kids and adults. Great review Carol.

Danielle H. said...

This is an excellent idea for a picture book and one I've never seen before--makes me wish I'd thought of it first. The illustrations are beautiful. I'm a fan of nature picture books, so this will be mentor text for me. Thank you for the chance to win a copy. I shared on tumblr:

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for sharing it Danielle and yes I wish I'd thought of the idea! You and Debbie are both in.

Jana Leah B said...

A good message & such pretty illustrations.
turtle6422 at gmail dot com

Carol Baldwin said...

YOu are right, Jana Leah!

Jean said...

Wow! Have to order this one

Carol Baldwin said...

You would love it, Jean

Unknown said...

This looks amazing! Would love to receive a copy of Lights Out!

Carol Baldwin said...

It would be a good one for your school's library, Gwen.

Unknown said...

Thanks to one and all for your comments and support. Connie, I was concerned when I sold the manuscript because I knew the illustrations would be challenging; I was so very lucky to have Susan Reagan as illustrator. Perfection. Danielle, I'm honored that you plan to use LIGHTS OUT as a mentor text. This book is close to my heart so all of your kind words mean a lot.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Marsha, for stopping by. I wouldn't have guessed that the illustrations would have been challenging to visualize and create--but now I can see that. And yes, Susan did a marvelous job bringing your text to light!

Barbara Younger said...

What a wonderful concept for a picture book! Love the elegant and mysterious illustrations.

Susan said...

Great review and I love the illustrations! Thanks for including me!

Rosi said...

Light pollution. Honestly, I hardly ever think of it, but I guess I should. This book looks terrific. The illustrations are beautiful. Thanks for telling me about it and for a chance to win.

Unknown said...

I know you all love the illustrations. They are indeed brilliant. But wait until you read the text. 🙃🤣 Thank you all for your comments. Marsha Diane Arnold

Carol Baldwin said...

Definitely, Marsha! There would be no illustrations if your exquisite text didn't set the scene for them!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Barbara and Susan. Your grandkids would enjoy this book--and their parents!

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Carol,
The illustrations for Lights Out are wonderful! Simple and precious! Thanks for sharing.

Do something fun for you!
Never Give Up

Unknown said...

Thank you Carol for this lovely review! Books are illustrated in such isolation and it's always so exciting when it is out in the world! I appreciate all of the support!

Carol Baldwin said...

As authors, we don't always think about illustrations "done in isolation." Yours matched Marsha's text so beautifully!

Lynn Gaines Design said...

Beautiful story and art Marsha and Sue! So tender and thought-provoking ❤️

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lynn!

THE NIGHT WAR: A MG Historical Novel Review

  By now you should have received an email from my new website about my review of THE NIGHT WAR by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. (It'll com...