Hannah’s Night

Hannah's Night tells the story of a young girl's adventure during the night when she wakes up in the dark to find her family fast asleep. The ensuing exploration is simple enough; unrestricted by rules, Hannah helps herself to the fridge, borrows her sister's toys and sees the first bird of the morning.

It's a sweet and straightforward story, and what Hannah choses to get up to would be common to many children in the same situation. But that is the beauty of this book. It turns waking up alone in the dark into a fun adventure rather than the cause for alarm that might be experienced by many young children. Hannah negotiates the darkest parts of the house without ever showing any anxiety, and takes great enjoyment from having the world to herself for a couple of hours.

The colour palette of the illustrations is sometimes a little dark, even considering the night time subject, as it makes the pictures a little less stimulating for younger children. The illustrations themselves, however, are a delight, and reminiscent of some of Shirley Hughes's work. Sweet and whimsical, Hannah is a lovely character study of a toddler and young readers will recognise themselves in the true to life pictures.