The Night Parade, by Johnny DePalma | Dedicated Review
Review sponsored by Steve Michael Reedy
The Children’s Book Review | December 23, 2015
Written by Johnny DePalma
Illustrated by Kyle Brown
Age Range: 3-6
Hard cover: 42 pages
Publisher: Umbrelly Books (September 14, 2015)
What to expect: Rhyming, Compelling Tale, Creative Language, Vivid Illustrations
Johnny DePalma’s The Night Parade feels like it’s already a classic. The tale is so deftly told, and with such perfectly chosen language, that it feels familiar in a captivating and exciting way and, yet, its creativity and uniqueness make us certain that it is entirely new. Part of this achievement comes from the subject matter – children’s dreams and nightmares, and the mysterious figure that walks the earth each night to collect them. This is an insightful coinage among the mythic figures that populate children’s stories, and it feels like the sort of thing the Brothers Grimm might have thought up.
Besides the creativity of this image, the wonderful rhyming text gets the message across in a haunting, sonorous way, adding to the feel of a contemporary classic. “There’s a man who travels ‘round the world/each and every night./You’ll hear him marching down the street/just slightly out of sight,” the book begins. Reading these lines (and the rest of the book aloud) parents will be reminded how important the lyricism of a children’s book is. The music of The Night Parade makes reading it aloud a real pleasure, and the tale truly comes alive.
The illustrations, by Kyle Brown, are the perfect compliment to the text and story. They, too, seem timeless in their style, and yet feel new to the modern reader. There’s a cinematic quality to the images of the man walking along in the night, with ‘cuts’ from close ups of his shoe striding along, to ‘shots’ of his whole body walking, and the winding road running through the town and across the earth. Mr. Brown’s rendering of various dreams are major artistic achievements in any genre, and especially evocative in children’s literature. Careful study of these images will likely produce excited talk about the wild and rich content of dreams. The images create a great space for continuing to think about the tale being told.
Together the images and rhyming tale create a truly magical vision of nighttime, and will send children happily and thoughtfully off to their dreams.
Add this book to your collection: The Night Parade
About the Author
Johnny DePalma began writing down his absurdities at a very early age, and, I should add, is most likely continuing to write them now. To date, Mr. DePalma has won several awards in the arts, ranging from his acting to his writing and back again. The Night Parade is Mr. DePalma’s fourth book.
About the Illustrator
Kyle Brown began doodling while still in diapers, but really formed a passion for illustration after the birth of his two daughters. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he continues to learn, develop, and find inspiration for his art. The Night Parade is Mr. Brown’s first venture into children’s book illustration.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. The author of “The Night Parade,” written by Johnny DePalma and illustrated by Kyle Brown , sponsored this non-biased review. Learn more about getting a book review …
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