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Smoky Night by Eve Bunting

Smoky Night (1999)

by Eve Bunting

Other authors: David Diaz (Illustrator)

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Watching news coverage of the Los Angeles riots, Eve Bunting wondered how children perceive such events, especially those who actually live through them. In this picture book she focuses on Daniel and his mother, as well as his cat, Jasmine. His mother explains calmly that these people are angry and doing wrong things, like stealing and breaking windows, but tries to reassure him that he is safe inside. Still when a fire breaks out they must flee, and Daniel is worried about Jasmine.

I like that Bunting gave a sense of the chaos and the fear and anxiety that both children and adults felt, but that she also allowed for safety and compassion and understanding. It’s a lesson in recognizing our common bonds as humans, rather than our exterior differences.

David Diaz does a marvelous job illustrating the book. He created collages of materials, including cardboard, wallpaper, tissues, shoe heels, against which he placed his acrylic drawings. The result is vivid and graphic. His artistry won the Caldecott Medal. ( )
  BookConcierge | Oct 22, 2017 |
Smoky night is a story about a young boy who witnesses a riot in LA that involved fires and looting that damaged his neighborhood. The neighborhood comes together, despite their differences, to find their missing cats.
  gonzalr | Aug 26, 2017 |
Set during the LA Riots, a family watches as things erupt outside their home. When a fire starts they are forced out of their homes and next to Korean American neighbors that they do not like. The little boy is worried about his cat during all of this. when the firemen rescues his cat and Mrs. Kim's cat there is a special bond between the cats. Brings realization to the fact that we are all humans regardless of our skin or where we're from.
  JackieOttman | Aug 21, 2017 |
A young boy and his mother are forced to flee from their home during a night of rioting in Los Angeles. The fires and looting force the neighbors who have always avoided one another to come together in their time of need.
  JaniceBrody | Aug 20, 2017 |
Illustrator Study: David Diaz
  Jessica_Diaz | Jul 28, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eve Buntingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Diaz, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0152018840, Paperback)

This is a story about cats -- and people -- who couldn't get along until a smoky and fearful night brings them together.

The Los Angeles riots made author Eve Bunting wonder about what riots meant to the children who live through them -- and what we can all learn from such upheavals. She has written more than 100 books for children and young adults, including Night Tree and Summer Wheels, and many deal thoughtfully with difficult issues.

Smoky Night was the winner of the 1995 Caldecott Medal; an American Library Association Notable Children's Book; a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year; and a Parent's Choice Award.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:33 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When the Los Angeles riots break out in the streets of their neighborhood, a young boy and his mother learn the values of getting along with others no matter what their background or nationality.

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