OH! The Things You Can See In The Dark!, by Cathleen Francisco | Dedicated Review
Review sponsored by Cathleen Francisco
The Children’s Book Review | October 12, 2016
Written by Cathleen Francisco
Pictures by Cathleen Francisco
Age Range: 3 and up
Hardcover: 36 pages
What to expect: Photography, Nighttime, Animals
As the title of this photographic picture book suggests, OH! The Things You Can See In The Dark! is an exploration of the magic that nighttime can bring. The author’s unique point of view is uncommon for most children’s books, and it will elicit a curiosity amongst young readers, as the pages show scenes that bring out the beauty and magic of the dark sky.
Accompanying each photo page are two written sections. The first is a short description of the picture. This description is geared toward the younger reader and includes questions related to each photo. These questions encourage the curious young person to think about their own world (“What animals come out in the night where you live? Can you see them? Do you hear them?”), and also encourage more evaluation of the photo (“Can you find the blue frog?”).
The longer text section that is aligned with each photo provides a more in-depth dialog describing the history or background of the photo, targeting the more advanced reader. These more detailed paragraphs give the advanced reader factual information regarding the topic of the photo, making this book appropriate for even the most curious adult.
While the text throughout the book is important, this book’s main attraction is the striking photography. Using her camera and Photoshop, Cathleen Francisco’s pictures, which are sometimes the combination of over 50 elements, provide a new and bright experience that will draw in young readers with vivid colors that pop off of the dark pages. The style of the photography is very easy for a young audience to find appealing, and the bold images will leave a lasting impression on all who turn the pages.
This book would be well suited for young pre-readers and younger readers looking for a different point of view on the world they have begun to explore. The book would also be ideal for those readers that are intrigued by nighttime topics.
About Cathleen Francisco
A young friend of mine suffered terribly with night terrors, her fear of the dark so intense that even the simplest of pleasures, like going to a movie or camping under the stars, were terrifying prospects. No words could be found to alleviate her fears, because to her, the dark was an unsafe place, void of beauty and mystery. I started to think about the dark and what it meant to me. Yes, it could be scary, but what about all those things made more beautiful in the absence of light, all the life that exists beyond our sight and how busy and colorful the night truly is? That was the dark I wanted my young friend to see.
The idea for my children’s book about the night began to emerge, and the tools at hand — my camera and Photoshop — became the method of illuminating my vision. The imagery came before the text, but it was the reading and research that helped shape the illustrations for my book. In some instances, like Moonbows, it was a new discovery. Really? Moonbows exist? I had to recreate that, even if it was just for me. What led to one curious discovery led to another, and another, and now there is a book called OH!The Things You Can See In The Dark!.
Recognized with honorable mentions in the San Francisco and New York Book Festivals, OH!’s appeal reaches out to all ages and interests. Not just a book about the dark but a book of curious discoveries and adventures into the night.
For more information, visit: CatFrancisco.com
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. Cathleen Francisco, the author and photographer of “Oh! The Things You Can See in the Dark!,” sponsored this non-biased review. Learn more about getting a book review …
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