Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Song for a Summer Night: A Lullaby

Leng, Qin (Illustrator)
Groundwood Books 2015. 32 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9781554984930 (hardcover)
9781554984947 (e-book)
Original language: English
Dewey: 811
Book type: Picture Book
Book genre: Poetry

Text Elements:

recurring patterns

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

What could be more magical than a beautiful summer’s night? In this poetic picture book, children congregate outdoors after dark to witness nighttime’s charms. Personified as a performer, night puts on an exquisite show, impressing the kids with sumptuous sights and sounds captured by the author’s verse.

The text twinkles along in rhymes, accentuating nature’s musicality through onomatopoeia: “Fireflies’ glint-glints’/sparkle the scene,/earth-stars glimmering/a shimmering green./shh-shh/glint-glint.” Dancing across the pages in a delicate cursive font, sounds accumulate like instruments in an orchestra, rising to a crescendo: “shh-shh/glint-glint/print-print/tra-la-la/snap-snap/tip-tap/hoo-hoo/click-click/purr-purr/scratch-scratch/pound-pound.”

Colourful flowers and night creatures—owls, cats and raccoons—leap through silvery blue and green scenes. Digitally painted illustrations made with ink and brush capture the sky’s colour gradations as the sunset’s gentle salmons melt into grey teals and then periwinkle blues.

Eventually retreating to their beds, the children are lulled to sleep by nighttime’s song, which carries on against a star-speckled sky: “While night air keeps singing/its soft lullaby, /the tired-out moon/seeks its bed in the sky.” Readers, like the children, are swept up by nighttime’s stellar show, and will close this book with a heightened appreciation for the wee hours.

  •  

    Make a class list with the names of animals and the sounds they make.

  •  

    Brainstorm onomatopoeias (other than animal sounds) and add them to a class list.

  •  As the story is read aloud, join in to choral read the onomatopoeias.
  •  

    Make a large drawing with a variety of people, animals and things that make noises. Add speech bubbles with appropriate onomatopoeias.

  •  

    What is a lullaby? What rhythm does it have? Do you know any in English? How about in your first language?

  •  

    Go for a picture walk. What do you see in the scenes? What sounds or onomatopoeias might you hear if you were there?

  •  

    As you listen to the story, join in to choral read the onomatopoeias. Are they the sounds that you expected?

  •  Research how the sounds of animals are different in French and English.
  •  

    Create a new song for a summer night, perhaps on a farm. Use puppets or masks as props to tell your story.

  • Drama
  • Music