Reviews /

Between Night and Day

Authored by Sean Julian
Illustrated by Sean Julian
Published by Oxford University Press

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Between Night and Day tells the story of an orangutan named Pongo and a bat named Bulu. Both animals have a fear and help each other to work through their worries.

Pongo helps Bulu find their way back to the safe darkness of their cave. Bulu helps Pongo to realise that dark can be good and not scary. The text describes how our bodies feel and react when we are scared. This could be used to generate a discussion with children of when they might be scared or worried and how that feels. It could be well utilised in PSHE lessons in early years and KS1 classrooms to discuss where fears come from and why some people are scared of things like the dark and others aren’t. The book recognises that being scared is natural and Pongo and Bulu help each other to see their fears in a different way. Their friendship does indeed blossom in the space between night and day.

The author and illustrator, Sean Julian, has combined simple text with captivating illustrations, making this an excellent shared read. Readers will spot lots of animals of the forest hidden in the illustrations. There are some good descriptions of the noises they make too: monkeys who howl and warthogs who grunt. Word choices could support children in widening their vocabulary such as swooped and there may also be some forest vocabulary and images that children don’t recognise such as mangoes. It makes this simple text a good resource for teachers to teach vocabulary and grammar.

I can imagine Between Night and Day becoming a favourite for children to read with a parent or carer. It is a perfect story to explore with children who may have a fear of the dark.