Monday, July 8, 2024

Every Night at Midnight by Peter Cheong

Today's read released last year, and I'm glad I stumbled across it...even if I am late. This one circles around a boy, who turns into a wolf every night at midnight. I'm thinking that it'd make a great one for Halloween, too. Or for any werewolf fans out there. Now, I'm not sure what the boy/wolf does when he turns at midnight, but I'm ready to find out.

Let's step into the world of fantasy and find out!

by Peter Cheong
Atheneum Books
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

A little lone werewolf prowls the nights on his own until he finds friendship in the most unexpected of places in this whimsical and tender picture book in the spirit of Julie Fogliano’s My Best Friend.

Every night at midnight, Felix turns into a wolf. His hands and feet turn into velvety paws, his senses grow sharper, and he grows a long, furry tail. Felix loves exploring on four legs, and he has the nighttime world to himself. There’s no one else like him.

During the day, Felix is human, but it still feels like there’s no one like him. The other kids used to invite him to play, but now they keep their distance. That’s fine, though. Felix doesn’t need anyone else. But after a chance encounter, Felix the little lone wolf starts to wonder whether he might find his pack after all.

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Finding friends takes a furry twist in a heart-warming and surprising way.

Felix turns into a wolf every night at midnight. He loves being a wolf and enjoys the night world outside. While his double-sided life is awesome, he knows that he's alone. He did have friends at school before his wolf appeared, but now, he finds himself keeping a distance from everyone. Until something happens, and he discovers he might not be as alone as he thought he was.

This tale takes the problem of drifting friendships and flips it on its head in an unique way. The idea of Felix turning into a wolf will perk the interest of monster and fantasy fans and delight readers as he plays in the city streets under the moon. Some will wish they could run with him. It's inspiring to see Felix embracing himself for who he is, despite the problems it causes. Felix enjoys his uniqueness no matter what, but still wishes he could have friends. It's pretty clear that this distancing to his earlier friends isn't their fault alone, but also has to do with his own attitude and insecurities. There isn't any meanness in this, either, keeping the theme of bullying away (which is also refreshing). 

The illustrations bring the fantasy side across wonderfully and add the right atmosphere at the right time. When the new girl appears, the contrast in colors, when compared to Felix, offer a visual support to enhance the theme. All of this slides right along with the story as the text stays concise but flows very well to keep the action going and the situations clear. It creates a great read-aloud not only for group settings, but will delight especially fans of werewolves and fantasy while offering an important message about friendship along the way.

And here he is...

Peter Cheong lives in Perth, Western Australia, with his very understanding wife and less understanding cat. He is the illustrator of I’m a Hero Too and the Pow Pow Pig series. Every Night at Midnight is his first book as both author and illustrator. Peter unfortunately cannot turn into a wolf himself but is still trying. You can see more of his work at

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