"The sun falls. Darkness rises.' From seven at night until seven the following morning, while you're sound asleep in your bed, the city stays wide awake - dancing, cleaning, fire fighting, baking, and more. With an urban backdrop that looks as if the architect of record were Piet Mondrian, Wellington's graphically arresting and gorgeously colored double-page spreads depict a different activity for each succeeding hour. The text, in describing the evening events, doesn't try to compete with the illustrations, but is nevertheless artful in its own understated right. Cleverly tieing the entire episodic progression together are a striped cat and a bevy of mice that turn up in each spread - sometimes in unlikely places! Look closely for them and for the time piece discreetly placed in each picture to proclaim the hour. And for art lovers, there's even more sly fun in the details: a cookie looks like a painter's palette, homages to Munch and Mondrian hang on walls, a sky and a bed are borrowed from van Gogh, etc. Like the 10 o'clock painter depicted in the book, Wellington 'paints what she sees with her eyes - and with her imagination.' As a result, this surprising book grows more satisfying with each rereading."
- starred review, Booklist
"It is obvious that Wellington is in love with big-city living, using its many facets in one fascinating night. The text imparts plenty of information, offering windows on new worlds for children."
- Pointer review from Kirkus Reviews
"A clever, beautifully realized introduction to the world of art." - Named as a TOP 10 Youth Art Book by Booklist "This book helps adults and children to develop the skills and vocabulary for looking at, talking about, and enjoying art together. Ten mice tour a variety of thematic galleries, e.g., "Portraits," "Landscapes," "Still Lifes," and "Fantastic Creatures." On the walls are simplified renditions of famous masterpieces and short notes on the theme or genre. Printed on white borders below are engaging questions ("What are your favorite colors in these paintings? What shapes can you find?") and commentary from the mice. Wellington's age-appropriate questions and playful approach to art work both as model and motivation for visiting a museum"
- School Library Journal
"Engaging and instructive... a trip as enjoyable for the knowledgable adult as for the child...this book is warm and charming."
- Boston Globe
"In a cavalcade of interior scenes and columns of precise rhymes, Wellington finds that the wee hours are not so quiet for scampering nocturnal animals. Under whimsical headings such as 'Racing, Chasing in the Kitchen' and 'Dashing, Splashing in the bathroom,' the mice careen through rooms while their shenanigans are related in an extraordinary text, composed entirely of lists of rhyming exclamations by the objects pictured: ' "What a mess," said the dress... "They'll clean up," said the cup... "Fat chance," said the pants.' Some of the rhymes are wildly funny to read aloud and are sure to become familiar phrases in households that adopt this irresistible book, which ends at dawn - bedtime for the mice. The picture are composed of bold, clear forms, perfectly executed by an artist whose talent is as sure as her design sense. Layers upon layers of objects, decor, and action remain uncluttered as the mice make a mess of everything. Parodies of masterpieces hang on the walls, while each line of text ends with a spot drawing of the object being quoted. To rave about typefaces and graphically tidy borders would detract from the original and compelling content."
Pointer review from Kirkus Reviews