Wednesday, January 26, 2011

6. Day & Night

Written and illustrated by Teddy Newton
$14.99, all ages, 40 pages

When points of view are starkly different, you say they're as different as night and day. But if you are, in fact, Night and Day, do you have to be worlds apart?

In this delightful book adaptation of Pixar's 2010 short by the same name, two doughy shaped fellows named Night and Day discover that being different is nothing to be afraid of.

Against a backdrop of blackness, Day wakes up with a skip in his step. Birds swirl around inside him, flowers bloom in his belly and for a time he lays back soaking in the rising sun.

But as Day gets up to walk again he comes upon Night curled up on the ground sleeping and is startled because he's never seen anything like him.

Uneasy about what Night is, Day tries to slip past him unnoticed. But at that moment Night wakes up, equally out of sorts.

"Yikes!" they yell at the same time as each stumbles back from the other.

Though their shapes and sizes are exactly the same, they are opposites in every other way and this troubles the two.

Day pokes Night in the belly, trying to figure out what a crescent shape we know as the moon could be.

This, however, doesn't sit well with Night and he gives him a right jab to the face and drops him to the ground.

(Look closely at Day's stomach and you'll also see a lumberjack felling a tree at just the same time.)

Soon, the two are wrestling with abandon, but as Night puts Day into a headlock, he notices something delightful in Day's stomach: a red butterfly.

Night has never seen a butterfly, and can't help but stop and stare.

Then, a thought clicks on in Night's head (just as a house lights up in his stomach), and he turns his insides into a display of fireflies.

Day is astonished and soon the two are sharing other splendors.

Day marches in place as a parade walks through his belly then Night puts on a drive-in movie for Day.

Day arcs his body into a rainbow, then Night makes fireworks explode inside of him.

With each exchange, the day and night grow longer, until the two discover something amazing happening.

Their suns at exactly the same place below the horizon, as Day's goes down and Night's comes up.

Without saying a word, they smile at each other, squish their bodies together until their suns are matched in the middle.

As they come apart, they are amazed at what they see in their own bodies.

They've unwittingly swapped times of day. Night now has Day's sun and Day now has Night's moon.

Arm-in-arm, as happy as can be, they walk away delighted that they've each given the other something new.

Newton vividly shows how two people can be very different, but can grow from those differences if they're open to each other.

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