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,....you'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.
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.