November 6, 2016


Midnight Creatures: A Pop-Up Shadow Search by Helen Friel is a seek-and-find book, a pop-up book, and a non-fiction reference book. So it already has a ton going for it in terms of quality material. But it has one thing almost no other book has: you're supposed to read it in the dark with a flashlight!

Midnight Creatures has five monochromatic pop-up spreads that feature a location, like an ocean or a woodland area, and a list of creatures that reside in said area, like a squid or a red fox. Each spread features a handful of animals to find amongst the intricately-cute pop-ups, and once we know what animals we're looking for, we turn off the lights...

...and use our flashlights to find them! The shadows projected on the walls reveal the hidden creatures and show the answers to the questions on each page. It's just absolutely incredible. Each spread is intricately cut to cast these shadows, but the pages themselves are sturdy so we're able to fully open the book and get the whole effect.

It's the perfect bedtime book for about a thousand reasons. It brings so much fun to the bedtime story ritual because it's one of the few you actually get to read in the dark. You not only stimulate your child's imagination right before bed, but you do so by playing with the dark and shadows. It's clever, informative, and incredibly well-designed. For the record, I found the super-focused light on my phone yielded much better results than a traditional flashlight, which spread out more. 

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