Wednesday, December 17, 2008

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR: Under the Night Sky by Amy Lundebrek **PLUS REVIEW**

When Tilbury House Publications asked me to review and host one day for Amy Lundebrek's Under the Night Sky Virtual Book Tour I excitedly accepted. Not only do I love the review opportunity, but being able to help promote a great author is such a rewarding experience in and of itself. And Under the Night Sky is an excellent book worth spreading the word about. It might be Lundebrek's first children's book, but I can guarantee you it won't be her last. Not if she has any spark of desire to go on to write more.

Winter has a special beauty for those living in northern climates—even for those who live in cities. And winter nights can provide the most spectacular sights of all! To her son’s great surprise, a working, single mom breaks her routine one night and rushes her son downstairs to join their neighbors as they spontaneously celebrate the beauty of the northern lights—the aurora borealis. Nature is the central character in this story, and the spell it weaves provides this mother and son with a special moment they can look back on with great happiness. - from inside book jacket

About the Author:
Amy Lundebrek lives in Champlin, Minnesota, with her husband Ryan. She has a degree in biology and works as a research associate in a cell culture lab. She enjoys hiking and camping, canoeing and kayaking, painting and sculpture. This is her first children's book.

About the Illustrator:
Anna Rich says her career as an illustrator began in kindergarten, where she much preferred coloring and drawing to her other classwork. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has illustrated many picture books, including From My Window by Olive Wong, Just Right Stew by Karen English, Annie's Gifts by Angela Medaris, Cleveland Lee's Beale Street Band by Arthur Flowers, and Saturday at the New You by Barbara Barber. She lives in Elmwood, New York, with her son and her husband.

Readers who enjoy the book should be sure to check out the Under the Night Sky page on Tilbury's website. There you'll find links for several related teaching resources, books, activities, and more.

Now for my review...

Under the Night Sky by Amy Lundebrek
Illustrated by: Anna Rich
Geared Towards: Ages 4 and up
Published By: Tilbury House
Publication Date: May 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0884482970

As a person who has always been interested in the Northern Lights (not in a scientific way, but in the "I really really want to see them" way) I thought this book was particularly terrific. The story starts out as a young child is being put to bed by his neighbor while his mother is at work. The child can't go to sleep, but instead pretends, until he hears his mother quietly come home and softly wish him a good night. On this night, however, instead of coming in quietly to say good night, the child's mother rushes in loudly telling him to get get up and get dressed to go out. The child is scared thinking something bad has happened, but then he sees his mother's face and knows instead of something bad something exciting has happened. The child hurries to get dressed, and then along with his neighbor and her children they all run outside. No one will tell the children was is going on until they are all outside, as is everyone else from the neighborhood. They're all just standing around huddled together while an air of excitement buzzes through the crowd. The children are confused, but then their mothers tell them to look up. And what they see when they look up into the sky is nothing short of amazing- the Northern Lights.

As incredible as the Northern Lights must be, it wasn't the idea of the lights themselves that made this book so wonderful. It certainly added to it and gave the story its backbone, yet the true power player in this tale was the excitement and togetherness the experience of seeing the lights inspired in the neighborhood. It didn't matter that it was the dead of night. Everyone, young and old, was outside to joyously share share in awe the remarkable beauty that nature had to display. I can only imagine the thrill that seeing the Northern Lights first hand would inspire. I think that Lundebrek, through her words, and Anna Rich, through her gorgeous and comely color illustrations, did a wonderous job of capturing that beauty, amazement, comradeship, and love.

OUR RATING: 5 hearts

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