Sterer, Gideon. Midnight Fair, The. Picture Book. Mariachiara Di Giorgio, Illus. Candlewick, 02/2021. pp. $16.99. 978-1-5362-1115-3. OUTSTANDING. GRADES TOD-2.
Nearly every panel of this gorgeous wordless picture book deserves to be framed. Sterer and Di Giorgio bring to life a magical portrait of what happens at the county fair after dark, when raccoons lead the rest of the forest animals onto the midway. Bears eat popcorn and cotton candy, deer enjoy flying rides, foxes play carnival games, and even badgers ride in bumper cars. The artwork, done in watercolor, gouache, and pencil, is joyous and whimsical containing amazing richness of detail. The closing images as the animals clean up and return to the forest with treats, toys, and even a goldfish in a baggie might bring a tear to one’s eye. This outstanding wordless picture book will have children and their adults screaming more, more, more at every reading.
Rachael Reiley, San Jose State University, iSchool Student