author • speaker • teacher • volunteer
author • speaker • teacher • volunteer

In the Small, Small Night

In the Small, Small Night

Written by Jane Kurtz
Illustrated by Rachel Isadora
Amistad, 2005
Picture book, 32 pages
Ages 4-8
ISBN: 978-0-066-23814-2

Kofi can’t sleep in his new home in the United States, so his older sister Abena soothes his fears about life in a different country by telling him two folktales from their native Ghana about the nature of wisdom and perseverance.

2006 Kansas Notable Book


Named as one of the five best picture books of 2005.
—Washington Post
“Using stories she heard from a friend from Ghana, [Jane] Kurtz weaves them into a lovely story about wisdom and perseverance. … [Rachel] Isadora's vibrant illustrations, drenched in color, capture the African settings, the folkloric animals, and the love between brother and sister—and they complete the enchantment.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Kurtz beautifully captures the way an age-old oral tradition emerges... . A strong addition to any collection, this book is a must-buy for communities with African immigrant families.”
—School Library Journal
“...a comforting story about family and staying connected even when they are an ocean apart.”
—Ebony Magazine
“The dark, cold night explodes with color and warmth as Ghana comes alive in words and pictures as bright as an African landscape at sunset.”
—Washington Post Book World
“This book has so reminds all of us that stories do help us remember.”
—Cedar Rapids Gazette
“Kurtz tells [the stories] with warmth and immediacy. ”
“A story to read again and again.”
—Book Review Cafe