An exquisite exploration of the magic and mystery of night-time.

Playing By The Book Blog

Hannah’s Night


When Hannah wakes suddenly in the night, she discovers a whole new world of adventure.


  • Description

    When Hannah wakes suddenly in the night, she discovers a whole new world of adventure. With nobody awake to tell her off, she can do just as she pleases.

    The book combines simple language with beautifully textured images, capturing the innocence and wonder of young children at play.

  • Book Details

    Country of Origin Japan
    Reader Age 2-5 year
    Book Size

  • Reviews

    1. Blue Wolf Reviews (US), October 2013

      Treasure to the average four year old.

    2. The New York Times (US), May 2014

      Allows [Hannah’s] own resourcefulness to provide the story, demonstrating a respect for toddlers and their world matched by the pictures, serious blues and purples warmed by comfortably scratchy lines and anchored by protectively rounded borders.

    3. Starred Review, The Horn Book (US), June 2014

      Sakai is a master at capturing toddlers’ body language and expressions, and her brief text clearly telegraphs the freedom Hannah feels on this toddler-sized adventure.

    4. This Picture Book Life (US), June 2014

      Sakai’s paint and colored pencil illustrations are exquisite. So layered and full of texture and even in the deep blue darkness, have so many bright highlights.

    5. School Library Journal (US), April 2014

      The wee hours of the morning take on a magical quality in this pitch-perfect picture book. Spare text perfectly complements the hazy, scratchy, blue-tinged illustrations that slowly expand to capture Hannah’s hushed reverence for the night.

    6. Monkey Makes Three (NZ), July 2013

      The beautifully textured images really capture the peaceful night as Hannah explores the night-time world. It’s a lovely story to read just before bed and perfect for the beginner reader too.

    7. Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews (US), March 2014

      Sakai’s evocative illustrations envelop readers in the stillness and silence of a hushed home. Done in paint and colored pencil, they perfectly capture a child’s innocent point of view… Absolutely enchanting.

    8. Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog, February 2014

      If someone were to ask me who some of my favorite author-illustrators for very young children are I’d say that Komako Sakai is most assuredly one of the names at the top of that list… If her books are any indication, Sakai knows young children very well.

    9. Huffington Post, February 2014

      No one, and I mean no one, captures the subtle curiosity of little children better than Sakai.

    10. Napier Courier, December 2013

      A sweet…peaceful story with lovely pictures that children will easily relate to.

    11. Starred Review, Publishers Weekly (US), January 2014

      The artist’s smoothly drafted drawings capture with aching sweetness all the movements of a very young child … By keeping her focus tight and observing Hannah closely, Sakai’s characterization fells natural, light, and true to life.

    12. Swings and Roundabouts, December 2013

      Simple but delightful … The illustrations give the impression of night-time with their limited pallet; reminiscent of books from my own childhood … a calming and peaceful read

    13. Disney Princess (AUS), December 2013

      This sweet book tells of the night-time adventures of Hannah, a little girl who discovers that at night she can get away with things she’d never dream of doing by day. From sneaking a midnight snack to playing with her sister’s toys, she has some cheeky fun while everyone else is asleep.

    14. Totline (AUS), December 2013

      The illustrations are enchanting and add a dreamy serene quality to this lovely story of the little girl who made her own decisions in the middle of the night.

    15. Babies and Toddlers (AUS), December 2013

      An exquisite little picture book, very calming and beautifully illustrated… My little ones are hooked and ask for it every night before bedtime

    16. North and South Best Books for Christmas, December 2013

      Hopefully young ones will be inspired to sleep, rather than stay awake at night, by Hannah’s Night, with its beautifully dark, textured colours and tale of night-time exploration.

    17. Page and Blackmore, What We Are Reading, Top Kids Book, December 2013


    18. We Love This Book (UK), Best Books of 2013, December 2013

      Exquisite, soothing and magical.

    19. Unity Books Newsletter, November 2013

      In this simply told and beautifully illustrated picture book, night-time is no longer painted as scary, but a wonderful world to explored. Hannah wakes one evening and, with her cat Shiro, finds that night is a place of adventure, a place where she can do as she pleases.

    20. Buzz Words Books Blog, November 2013

      A delicate reflection on freedom through a child’s eyes… This delightful story is as soft as the night and as gentle as dawn’s first light.

    21. Kids Book Review, October 2013

      A gentle story that resonates with the peace and magic of night-time. Hannah’s wanderings around the house perfectly capture the innocence and wonder of a young child given an unexpected chance to explore.

    22. Practical Parenting (Aus), October 2013

      A new and beautiful find … has ‘bedtime story’ written all over it.

    23. Blue Wolf Reviews, October 2013

      Buy this book. It is just that simple. The imagery and words are so soothing … Such a simple story told well.

    24. Kiwi Families Review, October 2013

      Totally hits the mark. There is something wide-eyed and adventurous about this book and while the story is gentle and engaging, and the pictures are utterly entrancing.

    25. Carpe Librim Blog, October 2013

      The illustrations are unique and the book feels luxurious to the touch. Komako does an amazing job of capturing the essence of night time and Hannah is a cute and relatable character.

    26. Central Hawkes Bay Mail, September 2013

      Finally we have a bedtime tale… A peaceful story with lovely pictures that children will easily relate to.

    27. Bookrapt (reviewed by Jean Bennett), September 2013

      A gentle story to show young children a different perspective of their homes, and to reassure them that darkness is not frightening. Night-time wanderers will be entranced.

    28. Magpies, September 2013

      There is a sense of safety and security pervading this book, not only in Hannah’s domain, but in Hannah herself… It encourages re-reading, and it’s not hard to imagine it being a bedtime favourite. Highly recommended.

    29. Oh Baby! September 2013

      The illustrations alone make us fall in love with this book… This is one to capture the hearts of preschoolers and parents alike.

    30. We Love Books Blog, September 2013

      Accompanied by her feline partner in crime, Shiro, Hannah embarks on a quietly thrilling night of delights…There’s a sense of fun right through to the dawn break, at which point, young readers might rest their eyes and await their own nocturnal adventures.

    31. Around the Bookshops, July 2013

      Exquisitely illustrated in nighttime colours, this story shows the power of being alone.

    32. Wanganui Chronicle, August 2013

      The illustrations are beautifully soft and textured, framed in rounded vignettes, and capture the night-time quiet and innocence as you follow Hannah in her discoveries and adventure.

    33. Reading Time, August 2013

      This beautifully crafted picture book works like a visual haiku … What is lovely about this book is the traditional craft evident in the illustrations: not a cartoon or computer-generated image in sight! Recommended.

    34. The Listener (NZ), August 2013

      A gentle story about waking up before the rest of the family (a situation many parents will identify with) is treated with visual subtlety by Komako Sakai, illustrator of The Bear and the Wildcat. The writing is restrained and the pictures as texture-rich as you might expect from an artist trained in kimono fabric design.

    35. Playing by the Book blog, July 2013

      An exquisite exploration of the magic and mystery of night-time, Hannah’s Night is a soothing exploration of the peace, calm, and quiet that can be found in the midnight hours… I suspect this book will be on my end of year best-of-the-best list, but do yourself a favour and don’t wait till December to track it down.

    36. The Independent (UK), July 2013

      Truly beautiful picture books seem increasingly to be losing out these days to their more jokey cousins. So, a warm welcome to Komako Sakai’s radiant Hannah’s Night… Swirling, atmospheric illustrations in oil paints show Hannah enjoying a series of domestic nocturnal adventures while her older sister sleeps on.

    37. Create a Kids’ Book Bulletin, June 2013

      This is a simple and charming tale with evocative realistic pictures… A gorgeous book, which little ones will identify with.

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