Product Details
List Price:
4 to 8
P to 3
Trim Size:
11" x 9"
Boyds Mills Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-62979-493-8
Full-color illustrations
Lexile Level:
AD 630L

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About the Book


Flashlight Night is an ode to the power of imagination and the wonder of books. Three children use a flashlight to light a path around their backyard at night; in the flashlight’s beam another world looms. Our heroes encounter spooky woods, a fearsome tiger, a time-forgotten tomb, an Egyptian god, a sword-fighting pirate, and a giant squid. With ingenuity, they vanquish all, then return to their tree house—braver, closer, and wiser than before—to read the books that inspired their adventure.


*“The contrast between darkness and the area illuminated by a flashlight fascinates children, but this title kicks the fun up a notch. Three kids…are heading for a summer sleepover in the treehouse. Wherever the storyteller focuses the (flash) light, the real transforms into the imagined, and the green/gray of night fills with subdued color. The modest swimming pool inspires a pirate escapade; a rope ladder links to a hot air balloon rescue. The delicious language and ingenious metamorphoses, rendered in pencil and colored digitally, are tied directly to classic books stacked near the sleeping bags.  A rousing read.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review.

“Newcomer Esenwine’s balladic verse and Koehler’s sturdily drafted pencil drawings don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play.” – Publishers Weekly  

“A flashlight becomes a gateway to a whole new world in this imaginative picture book. At night, three kids sit in a tree house, telling stories with only a flashlight to see by. Muted pencil illustrations show the nighttime scenery…while the flashlight beam cuts across the pages, illuminating more surprising scenes. Each double-page spread grows more fantastical…Despite the excitement, the gentle rhyming text will wind young listeners down and help prepare them for dreamland adventures of their own.” -Booklist  

“There’s something almost magical about flashlights. Esenwine’s poem captures this quality...(t)he verse is incantatory, summoning jungle beasts, Egyptian tombs, pirate ships, and the like. Koehler’s digitally colored pencil drawings cleverly depict what’s really in the kids’ surroundings while also showing what they are imagining…a simple idea that’s engagingly executed and would be an excellent, atmospheric read for sleepovers or backyard campouts.” - School Library Journal  

“The creative illustrations make the story come alive by using a beam of light to highlight the imaginary parts…This picture book, reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are, encourages children to find adventures in a boundless world through reading.” – School Library Connection  

Meet the Author

Matt Forrest Esenwine

Matt Forrest Esenwine’s poetry has been published in Highlights as well as in anthologies selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Carol-Ann Hoyte, and J. Patrick Lewis. He lives with his family in Warner, New Hampshire. Visit

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Meet the Illustrator

Fred Koehler

Fred Koehler won a Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Award for his illustrations for One Day, The End. He is the author-illustrator of How To Cheer Up Dad, which received three starred reviews, and he is the illustrator of This Book Is Not About Dragons and Puppy, Puppy, Puppy.  He lives with his children in Lakeland, Florida. Visit

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Other Books by Fred Koehler