Book review: The Night Flower

Winner of the 2020 CBHL Annual Literature Award of Excellence in Children and Young Adult Literature

An exquisitely illustrated non-fiction picture book about a desert flower that blooms for just one night a year.

More about the book…

As the summer sun sets over the Arizona desert, wildlife gather to witness a very special annual event. The night flower is beginning to bloom...

This celebration transforms the quiet desert, for just a short few hours, into a riot of colour and sounds as mammals and insects congregate from miles away to take part in this miracle of nature. From pollinating fruit bats to burrowing owls, howling mice and reptilian monsters, join these animals on their journey to visit the flower in this beautiful nature-inspired story.

Based on the Saguaro cactus in the Sonoran desert, Arizona, this is a magical real-life tale from the natural world.

The gentle lyrical text coupled with Lara Hawthorne’s illustrations is perfect for young readers.

More about the author…

Fresh new talent Lara Hawthorne graduated from Falmouth University in 2013. Her first picture book, Herb was published in 2014 and she was selected to illustrate Carol Ann Duffy's The King of Christmas. Inspired by nature, myths and legends, Lara creates wonderful small worlds with her distinct watercolour style. Lara currently lives in Bristol.

My thoughts…

Soooo…. this is only the most beautiful book I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year! The ‘official’ target audience of The Night Flower is between the ages of 4 and 6 but my daughter loves it – and she’s just over 2 years old. True, she might not understand the finest details but I think it’s a book that can be read on various levels. I mean, my other daughter is only 3 months old and she still enjoys looking at the pictures! Plus, my wife and I learnt a ton of facts we didn’t know. So I would revise that statement and say that the ‘ideal’ target audience is found more between the ages of 0 and 41 years old. Minimum!


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