OH! The Things You Can See in the Dark!

Cathleen Francisco


[This]  is a picture book for children ages 3 and up. The premise of the book is to reveal that which can only be seen in the dark or those things made more glorious by the absence of light. While children may often perceive the dark to be ominous, the book shows a magical aspect of the night through the vibrant and lush imagery used. The illustrations are photography-based and highly manipulated in Photoshop.

*****

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With all the dramatic imagery throughout this book, the cover is a bit lackluster. The target age group is 3+; but this book is designed more like an artistic coffee table book. It’s pretty — don’t get me wrong — but it’s not your typical children’s book. The title is quite small (nearly illegible at thumbnail size), and the single boxed image on the cover hardly does this book justice.

Illustrations

Interesting, striking imagery throughout. I’m not typically a fan of (dramatic) Photoshop effects and filters, but in this case it provides a lot of visual interest for a young audience. Specifically, it highlights the luminous beauty of the night/dark.

Again, the page layout is definitely not done with young children in mind. Large chunks of text are set in a small (10pt?) font, and vocabulary is geared to an advanced reader.

Text

Once again, this book comes across as more of a coffee table book than a children’s book. The little poems on each page are kid-oriented, but the rest of the text is basically a collection of facts about the images. Interesting, of course, but perhaps not three-year-old friendly.

Then again, I’m all for challenging kids scholastically, so don’t let this dissuade you from a purchase. It’s an interesting book, and it’s a very unique concept.

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About the Author

Cathleen Francisco lives and works in Sonoma, CA. Enjoys photography, exploring, road trips, and walking the vineyards with her dog, Belle.

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