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Nocturne: Creatures of the Night

Last updated Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Author: Traer Scott
Date of Publication: 2014
ISBN: 1616892889
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2017

Synopsis: Whether fierce, cuddly, startling, mysterious, or some indefinable combination of all of the above, nocturnal animals never fail to fascinate. In Nocturne: Creatures of the Night, celebrated animal photographer Traer Scott takes the viewer on a journey through nighttime in the animal kingdom, revealing some of nature's most elusive creatures. Bats, big cats, flying squirrels, tarantula, owls, kangaroo mice, giant moths, sloth, several species of snakes, and a Madagascar hissing cockroach are only a few of the animals illuminated in these lushly detailed portraits. Seventy-five full-color photographs of forty different species are accompanied by informed but accessible descriptions of each animal's habits and habitats, and an introduction provides personal insight into how Scott captures her astonishing images. Nocturne is a compelling view of the rarely seen darkness dwellers who populate the night.

Note to readers:
•  Introduction is the author's story about the inspiration behind the book and her experience writing it.
•  Ahead of time pick animals to read about. Ones kids may be familiar with are raccoon, cougar, opossum, North American porcupine, domestic cat, and tarantula. Let the kids pick a few that look interesting to them.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever heard the word nocturnal?
•  Do you think you can name any nocturnal animals?


•  Nocturnal - active mainly during the night
•  Forage - to eat growing grass or other plants
•  Reclusive - lives alone and avoids other animals
•  Terrestrial - living or growing on land
•  Matriarchal - female controlled group
•  Scavenger - to search for food to eat
•  Roost - a place where birds rest or sleep
•  Diurnal - active mainly during the day
•  Dexterous - having or showing great skill or cleverness

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Which was your favorite animal to read about?
•  How many of the animals in the book have you heard of?
•  Have you ever seen any of them in person?
•  What kinds of things are threats to nocturnal animals?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a raccoon mask out of a paper plate. Cut the paper plate in half and attach one half to a popsicle stick so kids can hold it up to their face. Cut out black strips of papers, and draw in eyes, and glue to the face. Cut out triangles for the ears and glue. See example on Pinterest.
•  Make an owl from paper plates. Use one paper plate as the head. Cut out eyes and a nose and glue. Cut a second paper plate in half and glue to the head to make wings. See example on Pinterest.
•  Check our Animals in April craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!