Connecting everyone to the world of story

Image Alt

Story Links

  /  Reviews   /  Picture Books   /  Every Night at Midnight

Every Night at Midnight

By Peter Cheong

Reviewed by Mia Macrossan

Peter Cheong grew up on Roald Dahl and having adventures with Calvin and Hobbes. He was heavily influenced by the way Quentin Blake and Bill Watterson brought stories to life. He is the illustrator of  Nothing Alike and the Pow Pow Pig series, both reviewed in StoryLinks. Every Night at Midnight is his first book as both author and illustrator and is one of this year’s CBCA Notable: Picture Book of the Year.
He gets straight into the story: ‘Every night at midnight I turn into a wolf. My hands and feet turn into velvety paws; my face changes; and I grow a long, bushy tail. There is no one else like me.’ And therein lies the problem. Felix (we learn his name on the back cover, not inside the story), is happy enough chasing up and down the rooftops at night, but as he has to refuse all invitations to sleepovers his friends stop inviting him and he feels lonesome. He wishes he didn’t turn into a wolf every night. But then a new girl comes along who fits in straightaway. To his surprise and delight that night his lone howl is answered by another wolf who looks very like the new girl. Maybe he is not alone after all?
This story about loneliness, not fitting in, being different, and making friends is a timely reminder that we are not all the same. I did wonder about the boy/wolf’s parents who are conspicuous by their absence and how does he survive at school every day without any sleep?  These boring adult concerns are irrelevant as children mightily enjoy the fun and adventure of being able to shape shift and cavort about at night without supervision.
Peter creates marvellous contrasts between day and night, linking the two time periods using the red jumper that both boy and wolf wear. This spot of colour makes it easy to follow the action as a lot of the story takes place wordlessly on the page. This encourages children to look closely at each page teaching them visual literacy as they come to grips with the story. The attractive cover showing Felix in his trademark red jumper sitting on the rooftop with his big wolf shadow is a great inducement to explore the book, but also makes the reader pause and speculate about its contents. The front and back endpapers are a clever summary of the story.
A winning debut from Peter Cheong as both author and illustrator.
Affirm Press 2023
Peter Cheong


1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

Error: Contact form not found.

Free shipping
for orders over 50%