Winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award and the Margaret Wise Brown Prize
SELECTED AS A BEST BOOK OF 2018 BY THE BOSTON GLOBE, KIRKUS REVIEWS, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, AND BOOKPAGE
“Empathetic, poetic, and a joy to look at, cute kitty and all.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This quiet, understated book contains a wealth of emotions.” –The Horn Book (starred review)
“[Illustrator] Yoo sets a lovely mood, taking readers from sunset to dawn through washes of orange, pink, and blue, the watchman’s compassionate demeanor assuring them that all’s well.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Yoo’s textured, serene artwork in beautiful saturated tones perfectly complements Sullivan’s lines and conveys a beauty in the night and the construction site that readers might otherwise miss.” —Booklist (starred review)
“This soft, gentle story is a perfect bedtime story for lovers of trucks and construction equipment, cats, and nighttime wanders.” —BCCB (starred review)
A stray kitten changes the way the watchman sees nighttime in this tender book based on a true story, illustrated by Strictly No Elephants artist Taeeun Yoo.
The night watchman hugs his wife and kids and drives to work.
All night he is alone.
Every hour he makes his rounds.
He sees the stars twinkling. He hears the sounds of the night:
ki-DEE ki-DEE ki-DEE
Woof! Woof! Woof!
When he is joined by a stray kitten, the night suddenly seems different. Has the kitten found a new home?
Kitten and the Night Watchman is inspired by the true story of author John Sullivan meeting a stray cat while working as a night watchman. The cat, Beebe, was John’s companion for seventeen years.
A night watchman hugs his family and goes to work, where he methodically makes his rounds through an empty construction site. His flashlight's warm yellow beam illuminates the darkness: "He checks the doors. He checks the workshop." Debut author Sullivan, who based the story on his own experience, illuminates the inner life of his character as well, using concise, poetic language. The watchman "thinks of his boy and girl, safe and asleep at home." He's alert to the beauty of the darkness, too: the big trucks' fanciful-looking shadows ("A backhoe rises like a giant insect"), the full moon that "shines like an old friend," the way the air fills with a sound of a train and then becomes still again. Most of all, he is kind: a stray gray kitten joins him on his rounds (" Back again?' he asks"), and after worrying when it disappears, the watchman takes the kitten home to join his family. Yoo (Strictly No Elephants) sets a lovely mood, taking readers from sunset to dawn through washes of orange, pink, and blue, the watchman's compassionate demeanor assuring them that all's well. Ages 4 8. (Sept.)