What do you think of when you hear the words night light? My first thought is the combination of colored plastic and a small bulb that soothed my daughters when they were younger. Susan Gal's Night Lights will help stretch student thinking on this term as she presents different objects that light up the night. A young girl and her dog discover all of these during the course of a summer evening. These discoveries help soothe her fears of the dark.
The star of this book is Susan Gal's wonderfully vivid illustrations. Each illustration is accompanied by a label of a particular kind of light (i.e. firefly light, porch light). Students will love the bright colors that contrast with the dark of the night. Another star of this book is the girl's dog who wears a party hat (it's his birthday!), cooks his own hot dog, and chases fireflies.
I would preview this book by asking students to give examples of night lights. Once during the lesson, I would remind them that the purpose for reading was to find examples of night lights. After reading, we would list examples of night lights and see if we could think of examples not in the book. You could also work on inference (why did the author write this book?) as Gal doesn't specifically point out that the girl might be afraid of the dark.