Friday, September 22, 2017

Spotlight Friday - Flashlight Night blog tour 9.22.17

Time to get ready for the weekend!
Kick up your feet and find a good place to read.
Sharing #booklove for your classroom or library.
Spotlighting a book or two because these books deserve the spotlight!

Do you remember the days of playing outside so late?  Of the joy of being outside past dark?  It was like you were stealing time and being on a new adventure.  All of your regular games and stories became new and different at nighttime!  

This is a book that captures the feelings, the stories and all of the imagination of nighttime play!

Flashlight Night
Flashlight Night
written by Matt Forrest Esenwine
illustrations by Fred Koehler
published by Boyds Mills Press

Goodreads Summary:
Flashlight Night is an ode to the power of imagination and the wonder of books. Three children use a flashlight to light a path around their backyard at night; in the flashlight's beam another world looms. Our heroes encounter spooky woods, a fearsome tiger, a time-forgotten tomb, an Egyptian god, a sword-fighting pirate, and a giant squid. With ingenuity, they vanquish all, then return to their tree house--braver, closer, and wiser than before--to read the books that inspired their adventure.

I have read this book countless times now and I find a new detail to love in every reading.  This book begs to be read over and over because there is magic to be found in every word, in every picture.   Matt Esenwine's poetic verses roll off the tongue.  Fred Koehler's illustrations have hidden treasures every where you look.  But the magic is when you piece it all together.  I keep finding new ways a word and part of an illustration match.  Or a new possibility of what something could mean.  I think this is a book young readers, of many different ages, will reach for multiple nights for multiple reads!

I feel very fortunate to have been able to meet and talk with the illustrator, Fred Koehler, this past summer at ALA.  Koehler shared details of how he came up with his artwork.  Most came from a trip to the U.K. and he showed us the photographs that were the inspiration for different layouts.  It was fascinating to hear how some of the small moments were added into the illustrations!

The true test of a book's power is when you read it aloud to a young audience.  Since I had an early copy of the book, I was able to do this at the start of the year.  We have a summer reading celebration the first week of school and I read this book aloud to first-fourth graders.  And let me tell you, this audience was ENCHANTED!  And for all different reasons.  The younger readers were caught up in the imaginative parts of the story.  Their eyes went right to the parts that the flashlight highlighted - they loved the pirate ship, the hieroglyphics, the kraken, the tiger!  The older students loved making connections between what was real and what was imagined.  They matched parts of the text to the illustrations.  I loved seeing how each group approached the book differently, which shows me this book will be loved by readers of all ages! 

When I asked students if this was a book that should be on our school's Mock Caldecott list this year, the answer was a resounding "YES"!  Done!

Don't miss any of the other stops on the tour!  But really don't miss this book, it's available now!

Friday, 9/15                     Jama’s Alphabet Soup
Monday 9/18                   KitLit Exchange/The Loud Library Lady
Tuesday 9/19                   Penny Klostermann Book Blog
Wednesday 9/20              Unleashing Readers
Thursday 9/21                 KidLit Frenzy
Friday 9/22                      Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook
Monday 9/25                   Librarian in Cute Shoes
Tuesday 9/26                   Nerdy Book Club

Thanks to the good folks at Boyds Mills, they have offered a copy of Flashlight Night for a giveaway!  Enter below, giveaway open until Sept. 28th! 


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about our book, Michelle - I know how supportive you've been, and I really appreciate it!

  2. Sounds so engaging. My 5th graders love read aloud and totally engage w a good story. Thank you.