Please welcome my guest author today, Marsha Diane Arnold. You might remember her from her post on 10 Books on Helping Endangered Animals. She has a new picture book out, Lights Out, and we are giving away a copy! Please use the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
Children’s Books on Light Pollution and the Night Sky
Lights Out by Marsha Diane Arnold, illustrated by Susan Reagan
Fox and Firefly are surrounded by lights – house lights, car lights, streetlights. “Where is Night, where coyotes sing, owls hunt, and birds fly across continents…” Wondering if Dark is only lost, they set out across the wide, wide world in search of the Dark of Night. On their journey, they meet Songbird, Frog, Bear, and newly hatched turtles. Will they be able to find true Dark? Susan Reagan’s illustrations are spectacular, magically showing the play between light and dark. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Thank you, Mia, for helping me celebrate my newest book, Lights Out, with a guest blog and book giveaway! The last time I visited I talked about my Galápagos Girl and how I’m passionate about wildlife. Lights Out shows that passion again. The subject is light pollution, explored through the experiences of Fox, Firefly, and other animals they meet along their journey.
Five More Books on Light Pollution’s effects and Wonders of the Night Sky
Besides Lights Out, I’ll share five more titles for readers to enjoy, some new, some old, but all as sparkly as the Milky Way.
The Stars Just Up the Street by Sue Soltis, illustrated by Christine Davenier
In The Stars Just Up the Street, Mabel goes on a quest, just like Fox and Firefly in Lights Out. I related to Sue Soltis’ book right away; like Mabel’s grandfather, I grew up on the prairie and saw thousands of stars every night. Mabel is determined to see stars like her grandfather did, not just the nineteen from her backyard. She and her grandfather ask the neighbors to help, then they ask the mayor, who has lots of reasons why turning off the lights is a bad idea. But when Mabel emails the mayor asking, “When was the last time you saw thousands of stars?” the mayor remembers her own childhood. This is a lovely book about community and stargazing. The Stars Just Up the Street is from the point of view of a child, Lights Out is from the point of view of animals. Together, I think they make the perfect appeal for turning off the lights. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
Bright Sky Starry City by Uma Krishnaswami, pictures by Aimée Sicur
Uma Krishnaswami’s book, Bright Sky, Starry City, is also about light pollution, though as with The Stars Just Up the Street and Lights Out, the term is never mentioned within the story. Phoebe helps her father set up a telescope on a city street, outside their store. She draws chalk art of the planets. The illustrations show much about life in the city as well as the name of Phoebe’s father’s store – Night Sky. Phoebe expresses her wish in her own way, but it is the same as Mabel’s in Sue Soltis’ book and the animals in my book. “She longed for the city lights to go OUT! Just for a while. Just to give the night sky a chance.” Will a rainstorm with thunder and lightning help Phoebe get her wish? This book has back matter to learn more about our night sky, the solar system, moons, telescopes, and light pollution. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
Follow The Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Meilo So
This book shows how young people can make a big difference in our world, something Mabel and Phoebe in the previous books want to do as well, and something the animals in Lights Out hope for. The authors of Follow The Moon Home were inspired by a fifth-grade class who petitioned the governor in 1988 to make the Loggerhead Sea Turtle the official state reptile. The authors created the character Vivienne, who goes on a quest, similar to how previous characters I’ve mentioned do. She and her class search for a solution to the problem of baby turtles heading away from the ocean after hatching, instead of towards it. The book skillfully shows how they become young activists. “And that’s how Lights Out For Loggerheads began.” This hatchling problem is also highlighted in Lights Out. I love how the books I’ve mentioned so far have similar themes, but tell their stories in unique ways. Back Matter includes a letter to young activists and a section on finding out more about sea turtles. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons
Though the Milky Way and many constellations are hidden from our view due to light pollution, there’s one heavenly body that almost everyone can see at night – the moon. Gail Gibbons’ clear text and colorful illustrations in The Moon Book help young children learn about the phases of the moon, why we have eclipses, how the moon affects ocean tides and more. It even touches on legends about the moon. The Moon Book is an excellent informational book to go along with stories of the night sky. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations by Jacqueline Mitton, illustrated by Christina Balit
Zoo in the Sky is a beautifully illustrated book of the animal constellations in our night sky. Shimmering silver stars show where the stars in the constellations are. Brief legends of the constellations accompany each colorful illustration. The reader will meet the Great Bear, Leo the Lion, the Great Dog, and more. Zoo in the Sky is a wonderful book for young readers to begin learning about the night sky. [picture book, ages 6 and up]
Lights Out Picture Book GIVEAWAY!
We are giving away a copy of picture book Lights Out. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. We can only mail to U.S. addresses and AFO boxes.
Called a “born storyteller” by the media, Marsha Diane Arnold’s picture books have been described as “uplifting,” “whimsical” and “great read-alouds.” Before becoming a multi-award-winning picture book author, she wrote the award-winning “homegrown treasures” column for ten years. Her books include Heart of a Tiger, named Best First Book by a New Author, The Pumpkin Runner, a Smithsonian Notable, and Roar of a Snore, which was selected three times for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. More recent honors include Green Prize for Sustainable Literature and Michigan’s Little Read Lakeshore Community Read for Galápagos Girl, and Growing Good Kids Excellence in Children’s Literature Award and a Florida Book Award for Badger’s Perfect Garden.
When not creating imaginative worlds and wacky characters at her home in Florida, Marsha’s primary joys are her family, nature, gardening, and looking up at the night sky. To learn more about Marsha’s books or to contact her, visit www.marshadianearnold.com.
p.s. Related posts:
To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.