- Night Animals Need Sleep Too by Gianna Marino
Marino, Gianna Night Animals Need Sleep Too; written and illus. by Gianna Marino. Viking, 2020 [40p] Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-425-29065-1 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-425-29068-2 $10.99 Reviewed from galleys Ad 3-6 yrs
In this followup to Night Animals, the bright daylight is keeping Possum awake, so Skunk helpfully suggests he duck into a nearby cave, which they soon discover [End Page 216] already has occupants, namely a bear and some bees. Run out by the buzzing bugs, Bear joins the search for a cozy sleeping spot as well. The tree they clamber up is soon cut down by Beaver, who is then horrified upon seeing that it fell on Possum and apparently killed him (it did not, of course). The den they creep into (and Beaver drags Possum to) turns out to belong to Wolf, so that's a no go, and their respite in a tent is interrupted by humans—and by then, it's time to start the night's action for the exhausted pals. The story mostly plods along, with the building of events more repetitive than compelling, and though the individual animals are appealing the art is flat and static. There are, however, a few funny bits (Beaver's panic over Possum's apparent demise is delightfully comedic, as is Bear's coolly logical response: "He does that sometimes") and Marino mines considerable entertainment from the animals' expressions, with bleary-eyed Possum clumsily making his way through scenes while the others' wide-eyed surprise at their increasingly futile search provides humor. Endpapers with brief facts on nocturnal animals will please kids who wonder about what critters get up to after sunset.