Uri Shulevitz is one of my favorite author/illustrators. To me he is sort of a Maurice-Sendak-Lite. His drawings share with Sendak a lot of whimsy and attention to detail, but his stories tend not to focus on the darker aspects of childhood that so often recur as a theme for Sendak.
In Dusk, it is winter, close to the holidays, and a “boy with dog and grandfather with beard go for a walk.” The boy is sad when the sun starts to sink in the sky. The grandfather announces “Dusk.”
They walk back to the city, and pass all kinds of different people hurrying home or going out to shop. For example, one lady is seeking food for her cat, and one man is looking for toys for his children. A “visitor from the planet Zataplat” is also out and about:
Dusky musky, dusky zdat,
kholidaysky ikla zat,
sveet candoosky ikla bloosky,
bedy funnye ikla zdat,”
said visitor from planet Zataplat.”
As they wend their way, they see more and more lights coming on, walking by holiday displays in the shop windows. Eventually, it seems as light as day!
As always, Shulevitz includes bookstores in his pictures, as well as reminders to read books. His watercolors are lovely and full of surprises, like small, fun details to a reader with careful eyes.
Evaluation: This book would make lovely holiday and/or winter reading for the age 3-8 set, if they can pry the book away from their parents.
Published by Margaret Ferguson Books, an imprint of Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, 2013.