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Smoky Night by Eve Bunting
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Smoky Night (edition 1999)

by Eve Bunting, David Diaz (Illustrator)

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1,090987,637 (3.93)5
Member:libr202team4
Title:Smoky Night
Authors:Eve Bunting
Other authors:David Diaz (Illustrator)
Info:Sandpiper (1999), Paperback, 36 pages
Collections:HSU Children's Center, Your library
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Smoky Night by Eve Bunting

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Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
The story of the Los Angeles Riots. Violence pictured.

Ages 7-11

Pierce College Classroom Collection
  judydeja | Oct 8, 2014 |
I found this to be a wonderful, powerful, and very moving book. In this story, a young boy named Daniel is at home with his mom during a riot. It is not explained what started the riot, but this book is written from the perspective of Daniel, the little boy stuck in the middle of the riot. At first, he is just watching people from his window with his mom, explaining a little bit about his neighborhood, and mentioning the fact that his neighborhood has some diverse cultures that don't typically interact with each other. The one he mentions specifically is the Korean grocery store; Daniel says that his mom told him they don't shop there because "it's best we buy from our own people," and goes on to say that even their cats don't get along. Eventually, the rioters appear to leave, and he goes to sleep with his mother. He is then awoken by his mother to find that his apartment building has been set ablaze by the rioters, and they have to leave in a frantic. He looks for his cat Jasmine, but can't find her initially, and he leaves the apartment with his mother. Firefighters come, and Daniel expresses his concern about his cat. The firefighters go into the building, and while putting out the fire, they also find Jasmine, Daniel's cat. The firefighter who comes out of the building with Jasmine is also holding Mrs. Kim's cat (Mrs. Kim is the Korean owner of the grocery store). The firefighter says that the cats were together, scared, and comforting each other, and both Mrs. Kim and Daniel's mother are amazed, because of the two cat's history of not getting along. Daniel's mom makes a comment about the cats not getting along, and Daniel makes the very astute comment that they probably didn't get along because "they just didn't know each other before." This prompts Daniel's mother to extend an offer to Mrs. Kim and her cat to come "share a bowl of milk," and Mrs. Kim initially hesitates, but then says definitively that "they will come."

Part of the reason I found this book so powerful was because of the metaphor the cats served. Mrs Kim's cat and Daniel's cat allegedly had "fought all the time" at the beginning of this story. Furthermore, Daniel's mother had avoided Mrs. Kim's store in the past. However, the fire and trauma brings these two cats together, and then through Daniel's insight, both Mrs. Kim and Daniel's mother realize that they are not that different after all. Another reason I really liked this book was because of the relevance it has to current events. I'm sure there is a litany of children in Ferguson Missouri who would be able to identify with, and possibly benefit from this book. A third reason I liked this book was because of the intensely stylized illustrations. The illustrations did a fantastic job reflecting and amplifying the mood and tone of the story; during the fire the text was surround by a pattern of construction paper that vaguely looked like fire. Furthermore, at the end of the story, after the riot and it's results had seemed to bring people together, the very last page of the book had no words on it, but just the two cats who had previously hated each other(before the riot). This last image showed the cats snuggling on top of a blanket.

This book is definitely one of my favorites, and its message is strong and clear. Daniels mother believed it was best to "[keep] with their own people," but it took a tragedy, as well as the pets of different peoples coming together, before the people themselves even made an effort to connect with one another. The message of this book is that even though someone may look and talk different than you, they might actually have a lot in common with you. At the start of this book, Mrs. Kim and Daniel's mother seemed to view each other as coming from a different world, however, the events that happened forced them to question their predispositions, and ultimately they realized that they were both a part of the same community, and they were better off uniting with one another than by isolating each other. ( )
  AdamLarson | Oct 6, 2014 |
This book is based on the Los Angelos riots. It is about two people and two cats that couldnt get along until one day something tragic happen. The homes of many was destroyed by a blazing fire. Getting caught up in the rush, they cant find their cats. Soon, they are at a shelter and the firemen bring them their cats. The cats had been saved together, and were now eating out of the same bowl. Also, the tragedy had brought the families together as well. Very good story to explain the riots and the friendship. ( )
  kfisher524 | Oct 2, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book for many reasons. The book is based on an African American mother and son who are witnessing a riot happen on the streets of Los Angeles. Each page is filled with vivid colorful illustrations to help describe each event that happens. For example, the main characters apartment building catches on fire, and while the author is describing this scene the page is filled with red and orange flames! The author organized the story very well and provided suspense and detailed thoughts. The little boy, Daniel, cannot find his cat while fleeing the apartment building. The author leaves the audience blinded about the cats whereabouts until the last few pages. The author reveals Daniels cats location with Daniel's mother yelling out, "Daniel! Look! Look over there!" The audience finally envisions a firefighters walking towards Daniel with his precious cat. The main message of this story is that people can come together and help each other during rough times despite their background or nationality. ( )
  eschoe1 | Sep 13, 2014 |
age 3-5, Pierce College Library
  SWong4512 | May 28, 2014 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:19 -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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