EYES IN THE DARK
by Kim Dale
Published 2001 Thomas C Lothian Pty Ltd, South Melbourne
A beautiful picture book that uses poetry, images and questions to introduce children to the wonderful array of nocturnal animals found in Australia.
Most of the book is black with white text and detailed illustrations. Pictures are colourful, but only include minimal background details which adds to the overall charm and the representation of nighttime visions.
Each double page is dedicated to a particular animal or bird. On the left, three verses describe the animal and on the right is an illustration of the animal’s eye(s). The right hand page actually opens out to reveal a full image of the creature underneath, complete with its name.
Older children will enjoy guessing the creatures, whilst younger ones will purely enjoy listening to the poetry and watching the pictures unfold.
A double page at the end of the book provides more details about each of the sixteen animals featured in the book. A map of Australia illustrates where the creature is naturally found, and three paragraphs of facts include the scientific name, the animals’ diet, breeding facts and other information.
This fun and educational book was shortlisted by the Children’s Book Council of Australia in 2002 and was shortlisted by young readers for the Young Australian Readers’ Awards.