"Berk (The Secret History of Giants) presents a delicate, lyrical story about independence, trusting one’s instincts and abilities, and bats. Written in passionate prose-poetry, it stars Chiro, a bat who is nervous about his first solo venture. Momma reassures him that his “good sense” will help him find his way. “Sense is the song you sing out into the world, and the song the world sings back to you.” It’s a brilliant description of echolocation and an equally strong metaphor for the logic and perception that human children can use to cut through fear. Long’s (Otis and the Tornado) soft lines convey the concept clearly; surrounded by ink-black night, Chiro’s song illuminates a cone-shaped area in front of him, which reveals trees, geese, and other surprises in the dark."
— Publishers Weekly
"Berk’s able storytelling enriches and elaborates...a message about learning to rely on your own senses (or echolocation), and making your way in the world. Even when you’re completely in the dark."
—New York Times
"An ideal book for sending a child to school for the first time, tryouts for a team or a class play...[t]his lyrical, sumptuous picture book about a small bat taking his first solo night flight will inspire confidence in any child trying something new--and independently--for the first time."
— Shelf Awareness
"This is the one of the best children’s books I have ever read. The artwork is unique, creative, and stunning. The story is truly wonderful on many levels, easy for all ages to find something to relate to – younger students appreciating the brave first flight of the little bat, which older readers will see how magical believing in yourself can be. This is the kind of book you buy for your school, yourself, and as gifts. Did I mention that Chiro is the cutest bat I could ever imagine!!? ESSENTIAL."
— Kiss The Book
"This quiet picture book has a depth, warmth and beauty in the lyrical language and breathtaking acrylic and graphite illustrations, which will add light to the darkest of nights."
— The News-Gazette, Alice B. McGinty
"This is a tale to be shared with any age. Its allure will make it a favorite that your children will someday read to their children."
"Berk’s writing is lyrical and lovely. He captures subtleties and beauty in his words, offering insight about what Chiro is seeing through his echolocation. When Chiro uses his song for the first time, Berk writes about it like this: “Tall trees called out to him, chanted the length of their long branches and the girths of their rough trunks.” As you can see, he asks children to reach higher with their language, inviting them to explore like Chiro does. Long’s illustrations are a study in dark patterns and then bursts of color. Chiro is an exceedingly cute little bat, flying against haunting branches of shadow. When he sings, children will see the world come to life too, strengthened even more by Berk’s language. This is a beautiful book, perfect for a summer pajama story time. A dark delight of a bat’s life, this book is lush in both language and imagery."
— Waking Brain Cells
"From the very first sentence I knew this book was going to be exceptional. I knew this author would be looking at the world with new eyes, shaping what he sees with word descriptions akin to poetry. ... Ari Berk's technique in this story has a silence about it; a soft hush in the conversations between the bat mother and her child, the rustle of wings through night air, in the song no human ear can hear. Ari Berk's words illuminated by the illustrations of Loren Long in Nightsong bring to readers a bat's eye view of the night; how they are able to move with such ease using their unique gift of sense. This title is one of those books where a single reading will not suffice plus I keep reaching out to touch the pages. Nighttime has never looked so good."
— Librarian's Quest
"Oh, this is a lovely book, and distinctly different from Stellaluna, Janell Cannon's classic work to which there will be inevitable comparisons. Berk's evocatively written narrative is so much about testing one's wings, about venturing out even as we keep the memory of what is safe nestled close to ourselves, that we might return to that safeness when adventure is done. The whole book is lush and beautiful, the kind of deeply extravagant piece that is an experience unto itself. Even as it casts its own glow, Nightsong reflects the best of children's literature with its enduring themes of exploration and discovery. ...Whether you read this with your own kiddos, share with extended family or simply dip into it on your own, Nightsong is a treasure you won't want to miss."
— Sprout's Bookshelf
"Author Ari Berk turns a lesson in echolocation into a lyrical adventure...Berk's writing is soothing and sweet. It not only takes the complexity out of the technical term, but vividly conveys what it would be like to fly through the dark with very poor eyesight... Both eerie and comforting, this lush book not only demystifies a complicated process in science, but helps boost a child's confidence in facing the dark at bedtime."
— Where The Best Books Are!
"A finely honed text “sings” out the story as the finely crafted illustrations sing to the readers' eyes. Together these two creators have given us a lovely story which shows the potential high art of the picture book."
"Often we hear that books are written 'for all ages' and rarely is that true. Nightsong is an exception."
— Between the Covers
"The gorgeously illustrated picture book tells the story of Chiro, a little bat who learns for the first time how to use his echolocation ability. Berk describes this experience in absolutely enchanting magical language, describing the bat singing out into the world, and the world singing its song back to him. I highly recommend this book to anyone who knows children who appreciate the wondrous, or any of we adults who respect the same."
— Domythic Bliss
"Something about Nightsong's prose and artwork (and maybe even the typestting) makes you want to whisper the beginning of this story. It's dark, the pictures are intimate and understated, and the tone is almost reverential. This is the stuff that great storytimes are made of, and you won't be disappointed when you add Nightsong to your storytime repertoire... In a world where children are often taught to fear the unknown, it's refreshing to help them to believe not only in themselves but also in the world around them. When you look around with wondering eyes, there is beauty to be found, friends to be made, and courage in the very young."
— Baby Sitting Co-op 101
"If your first impression of Nightsong is one that labels this handsome book merely another children's book, go back and settle into the deceptively simple language. Here is the language of a magician poet... .It’s a perfect tale to prepare a child for his or her first day of preschool or kindergarten. But after the little one is safely installed in the classroom, don’t be surprised if you find yourself unconsciously picking the book up on your own. You’ll want to settle into the incantation that it is and marvel at its magic. Then store it in a secure place or buy a second copy. This is one to hand down decades later when grandchildren come along."
— Yaroos! 5/5 Stars
[read the complete review on Yaroos!]