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Smoky Night by Eve Bunting

Smoky Night (edition 1999)

by Eve Bunting, David Diaz (Illustrator)

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1,2061186,637 (3.97)6
Title:Smoky Night
Authors:Eve Bunting
Other authors:David Diaz (Illustrator)
Info:Sandpiper (1999), Paperback, 36 pages
Collections:HSU Children's Center, Your library

Work details

Smoky Night by Eve Bunting

Recently added byspelldavid, Genevieve.Foerster, private library, ccampeaux, FRC, emcnally, dallasuur.e.



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This Caldecott medal award book Smoky Night by Eve Bunting was a story of riots and racism I believe. When this get hectic people become crazy. As Daniel and his mother watch people steal from stores, they stay indoors and go to sleep. Then their building catches on fire and they must leave. Daniel, the young boy can not find his cat, and neither can one of the store owners Mrs. Kim, who‘s cat always fights with Daniels cat, Jasmine. After going to a shelter and trying to relax, a firefighter brings both cats and notes that they were “holding paws” and crying for help. Daniel seems to realize that maybe the cats didn’t actually know each other and just fought for ignorant reasons. This causes his mother to befriend Mrs. Kim. The book’s main theme, I think, is about not judging others, we need to get to know others before we should dislike them.
Personal Reaction:
I enjoyed this book, and especially loved the illustrations. The artwork looked to be painted with acrylic paint as it was less blended and enhanced the bright colors. The people in the book were illustrated as dark skinned individuals which makes me believe this was during the African-American riots in the United States. The language was very interesting and used more of a modern terminology. I believe I’d read this book during Black History month.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. After reading this book, which is full of collages, have the students create collages to represent a certain mood. Maybe even set up groups and give them a mood to represent. After the group creates the mood collage, using a variety of materials, have them present it to the class and have them elaborate about why they used certain colors.
2. After reading the book, have students write why they think the people are rioting, since the book does not really explain this. Also discuss how the building might have caught on fire, what kind of things could have happened? Along with what kind of things could prevent a fire. Then make sure everyone knows what the fire drills are. Maybe for homework send a worksheet home with the children to discuss with their parents/guardians as to what their plan would be if something like a fire occurred. ( )
  Genevieve.Foerster | Feb 3, 2016 |
The pictures are very detailed and really help the reader visualize what the story is saying. The pictures show emotion in the people drawn by their body language and their facial expression. And it shows you the whole picture and shows you other things that are going on around. ( )
  ccampeaux | Jan 28, 2016 |
A little boy and his mother are living in a city where riots are taking place. Late in the night, their apartment is set on fire and they are forced to evacuate and leave their cat behind. It turns out that their previously avoided neighbor also has a cat that is missing. The family and the neighbor become friends when both cats are found cuddled together safe and sound.

Personal Reactions:
This is a hard book to read as an adult when you know what it is about. It's not easy to read about violence from such an innocent perspective. This would be an excellent way to discuss things with kids that they are often sheltered from and may not understand.

Classroom Extensions:
1. I would like to know what message the children take away from this book, so I would open up a discussion about what the main idea is.
2. I would have the children write about how they may feel in a similar situation so they can understand how scary it may have been for the main character.
3. I would take this opportunity to research riots, what causes riots, instances when riots have occurred in the United States, and what possible outcomes those riots may have had. ( )
  emcnally | Jan 27, 2016 |
Smoky Night is a 1994 children's book by Eve Bunting. It tells the story of a Los Angeles riot and its aftermath: two people who previously disliked each other working together to find their cats. ( )
  A_Ozoglu | Dec 2, 2015 |
I very much so enjoyed reading Smoky Night. The descriptive language and the illustrations in Smoky Night made it an enjoyable read. Diaz was very descriptive in describing the setting in Smoky Night, especially when she wrote, "Smoke drifts, light as fog. I see the distant flicker of flames." and "...sky is hazy orange." The illustrations in Smoky Night are normal illustrations but rather more abstract. They do a good job of showcasing the culture of the city in Smoky Night and set the tone of the story. The message of Smoky Night is that regardless of obvious differences, people can still find something in common. ( )
  tpuryear | Sep 14, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eve Buntingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Diaz, DavidIllustratormain 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)

Daniel and his mother look out of their window at the smoky night below. There are looters on the street, fires in the distance. Daniel clutches his cat, Jasmine. But later, when they're forced to leave the apartment building, Jasmine can't be found. Mrs. Kim's cat is missing too. Where are they? They can't be with each other. Those cats don't get along...This story is about cats and people who couldn't get along until a night of rioting brings them together. Winner of Caldecott medal, 1995. 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.… (more)

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