The co-op bookstore for avid readers
Book Cover for: On a Summer Night, Deborah Hopkinson

On a Summer Night

Deborah Hopkinson

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.

Perfect for:

  • Kids who can't sleep on hot summer nights
  • Parents, grandparents, and caregivers seeking a sweet bedtime book
  • Librarians and storytime leaders looking for a summer read-aloud
  • Gift givers who want to share a beautiful, lyrical book with someone special
  • Readers of such classic bedtime stories for kids as Goodnight Moon and The Going to Bed Book

Book Details

  • Publisher: Chronicle Books
  • Publish Date: May 14th, 2024
  • Pages: 56
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 11.20in - 9.30in - 0.50in - 1.20lb
  • EAN: 9781797200132
  • Recommended age: 03-05
  • Categories: Bedtime & DreamsStories in Verse (see also Poetry)Concepts - Seasons

About the Author

Deborah Hopkinson is the author of many books for young readers, including Green Earth Book Award winners Follow the Moon Home and Butterflies Belong Here. She lives near Portland, Oregon, with her family and pets--including a cat named Beatrix who, unlike the cat in this story, is not allowed to wander outside, day or night. Follow Deborah on Twitter at @deborahopkinson, and see pictures of Beatrix on Instagram at @Deborah_Hopkinson.

Kenard Pak is a picture book illustrator and animation art director. He has illustrated such children's books as Have You Heard the Nesting Bird?, by Rita Gray, and The Dinner That Cooked Itself, by J. C. Hsyu. The author-illustrator of Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn and Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter, he lives in San Francisco, California, with his wife and daughter. Visit his website,, or follow him on Instagram at @kenardpak.

Praise for this book

"Spare, rhythmic, luminous." -- Kirkus Reviews
"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

"Words and art harmoniously convey nighttime magic. A memorable celebration of nighttime activity and moonlit slumber."

-- The Horn Book Magazine

"In the beguiling On a Summer Night, Deborah Hopkinson and Kenard Pak invite readers to experience the quiet, magical wonder of night during a hot, hushed summer month." -- Shelf Awareness

"[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

"Hopkinson taps into every sense to fully immerse the reader in this summer night...The digital illustrations are appropriately muted and static, anchoring the reader in each scene and encouraging quiet observation." -- The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books