Once Upon a Northern Night

Once Upon a Northern Night Cover

Once Upon a Northern Night

By Jean E. Pendziwol; Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrator)

Groundwood Books, Hardcover, 9781554981380, 32pp.

Publication Date: July 30, 2013

In this exquisite lullaby, a parent paints a picture of a northern winter night for their sleeping child, describing the beauty of a snowfall, the wild animals that appear in the garden, the twinkling stars, the gentle rhythm of the northern lights and the etchings of frost on the window pane.
As the young child sleeps, wrapped in a downy blanket, a snowflake falls, and then another and another. The parent describes the forest of snow-covered pines, seeing a deer and fawn nibbling a frozen apple, a great gray owl swooping down with its feathers trailing through the snow. Two snowshoe hare scamper and play under the watchful eyes of a little fox, and a tiny mouse scurries in search of a midnight feast. When the snow clouds disappear, stars light up the sky, followed by the magical shimmering of the northern lights all framed by the frost on the window.
Jean E. Pendziwol's lyrical poem reflects a deep appreciation of a northern winter night, a desire to share it with her sleeping child and the love that underlies that wish.
Isabelle Arsenault's spare, beautifully rendered illustrations, with their subtle but striking use of color, make us feel that we too are experiencing the enchantment of that northern night.

About the Author
Jean E. Pendziwol is the author of several highly acclaimed picture books, including Dawn Watch and The Red Sash, illustrated by Nicolas Debon, and Marja s Skis, illustrated by Jirina Marton. She was inspired to write this book by the long but beautiful northern nights in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where she lives with her family. Isabelle Arsenault is a very talented Quebec illustrator, who has garnered an impressive number of awards and international recognition. She has illustrated several books, including Le coeur de monsieur Gauguin (Governor General s Award) and My Letter to the World and Other Poems (Governor General s Award Finalist, IRA Children s Choices), and she has won the Grand Prix for illustration (Magazines du Quebec) for six years running."