Deborah Hopkinson

Award Winning Author of Fiction & Nonfiction for Children & Teens

On a Summer Night

On a Summer Night

What is this book about?

Step into the qui­et mag­ic of this cel­e­bra­tion of sum­mer night­time and the mys­tery of a world lit dif­fer­ent­ly by the moon.

On a sum­mer night, the world is still. Even the crick­ets think it’s too hot to sing. But all at once, a girl wakes. In the kitchen, the cat rolls onto its soft paws. A neighbor’s small white dog yaps, a brown rab­bit peeks from a hedge, and the leaves of a cher­ry tree begin to stir in the breeze. Read­ers wit­ness and won­der: Who has wok­en them all? In this sooth­ing bed­time sto­ry, the qui­et of a warm sum­mer night is brought to vivid, mag­i­cal life with the soft steps of bare feet, the padding of paws, and the bright, gold­en light of the moon. One by one, each crea­ture is roused and then gen­tly returned to sleep in a love­ly and lyri­cal explo­ration of wake­ful­ness, rest­ful­ness, and the mys­te­ri­ous calm of the night.

PERFECT FOR BEDTIME … OR ANYTIME: This beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed chil­dren’s book is ide­al for sooth­ing young read­ers to sleep — or encour­ag­ing a con­tem­pla­tive break in an ener­getic day. The story’s engage­ment with the won­ders of night­time will help chil­dren feel com­fort­ed by the dark and the prospect of going to sleep rather than afraid of them.

READ-ALOUD READINESS: With its lyri­cism and short refrains, this gen­tle sto­ry is just right for sharing.

CONNECTION TO NATURE: This mag­i­cal book grad­u­al­ly reveals the moon as a char­ac­ter as it wakes girl, cat, dog, rab­bit, tree, air, and cloud in turn—and con­nects them to one anoth­er through the wel­com­ing qui­et and won­der of a world gild­ed by moonlight.

THE POWER OF SLOWING DOWN: Pic­ture books are often won­der­ful excus­es to slow down and share a moment of gen­tle­ness in kids’ (and par­ents’) busy lives; this book feels like a deep breath and offers a chance to won­der and reflect.

Awards and Recognition

  • Junior Library Guild Gold Stan­dard Selection
  • Ama­zon Edi­tors’ Pick, Best Books Ages 3–5


  “It’s a lumi­nous, inten­tion­al­ly paced work that cap­tures a slow-mov­ing encounter with the majes­tic dance of the nat­ur­al world.” (Pub­lish­ers Week­ly, starred review)

  “In the beguil­ing On a Sum­mer Night, Deb­o­rah Hop­kin­son and Kenard Pak elo­quent­ly show­case the hushed, mag­i­cal won­der of a hot sum­mer night dur­ing a hot, hushed sum­mer month.” (Shelf Aware­ness, starred review)

“Words and art har­mo­nious­ly con­vey night­time mag­ic. A mem­o­rable cel­e­bra­tion of night­time activ­i­ty and moon­lit slum­ber.” (The Horn Book Mag­a­zine)

“[T]his med­i­ta­tive bed­time sto­ry trans­ports read­ers into a realm of ethe­re­al tran­quil­i­ty rem­i­nis­cent of com­fort­ing lul­la­bies. Qui­et­ly and calm­ly, this will res­onate long after the final page.” (Book­list)

“Spare, rhyth­mic, lumi­nous.” (Kirkus Reviews)

On a Summer Night

author, Deb­o­rah Hop­kin­son
illus­tra­tor, Kenard Pak
Chron­i­cle Books
ages 4 and up, May 14, 2024
ISBN 978–1797200132

Junior Library Guild Gold Standard
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