Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Smoky Night” as Want to Read:
Smoky Night
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Smoky Night

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  4,328 ratings  ·  431 reviews
Daniel and his mother look out their window at the smoky night below. There are looters on the street, fires in the distance. Daniel clutches his cat, Jasmine. But later, when they're forced to leave their apartment building, Jasmine can't be found.Mrs. Kim's cat is missing, too. Where are they? They can't be with each other. Those cats don't get along...

"Smoky Night" is a
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Turtleback Books (first published March 1994)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Smoky Night, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Smoky Night

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Ms. McCall
In Smoky Night, our protagonist witnesses riots throughout his neighborhood and must relocate with his mother to a shelter after their apartment building catches fire. In the end, the narrator’s cat’s friendship with the Asian market owner’s cat provides the starting point to a friendship between different races of people who did not trust one another beforehand. The layout of each page is rich with collage work, acrylic and water colored illustrations of dark blues and greens, while getting li ...more
Smoky Night is about a young boy named Daniel and his night living through street riots. He watches out the window as people steal TVs, shoes, clothes, and food. He is woken up in the middle of the night to realize their apartment building is on fire and his cat, Jasmine, is missing. This story starts out simply being a boy and his cat. By the end of the story, the cat is the focal point, sending the reader the theme of the story. After finishing, I found myself pondering how I would have felt i ...more
Awards Won: Caldecott Medal (1995), American Library Assocation (ALA) Notable Book
Age Level: 4-8

Smoky Night is a very thought provoking book that depicts many difficult issues. There are many hardships discusssed throughout the book including racisim, rioting, loss of a home, and the loss of loved ones. Though the story has a happy ending, I would not recommend the book for students under the age of 8. The illustrations are very unique watercolor pictures that give the reader a sense of being in
Anne-thomas Donnelly
Smokey Night by Eve Bunting is about a young boy named Daniel and his perspective on the riots that are going on outside of her apartment. He watches out his window as people steal TV's, clothing, and food. Daniel, his mother, and his cat are forced to leave their apartment when they realize it has caught on fire. While trying to get everyone out of the building Daniel realizes he can not find his cat, Jasmine. Daniel is worried and upset about what could have happened to his cat but his mother ...more
Smoky Night by Eve Bunting, illustrated by David Diaz is a picturebook look at the 1992 Los Angeles riots from a child's perspective. Among the difficult issues Bunting tackles are racism, rioting, loss of a home, prejudice, discrimination, and the loss of loved ones. This is a story about cats, and people, who couldn't get along until a smoky and fearful night brings them together.

Daniel sees the rioting in the streets of his neighborhood, where people burn buildings and loot stores. By the en
Smoky Night is a story about a young boy named Daniel that is witnessing the devastation and destruction of riots in the streets below his apartment. While watching this all take place, Daniel's mother mentions, "when people get angry...they don't care anymore what's right and what's wrong". I found this to be an important concept and one that I continued to think about as I read the book and because this very basic concept can be applied to various parts of someone's life when people try to def ...more
The visual elements of "Smoky Night" are a feast for the senses. Eve Bunting's tactile collages incorporating materials mentioned in the descriptions of the riots (cardboard and bubble wrap from appliance boxes, cereal from the grocery store, hangers and plastic bags from the dry cleaners) add a sense of reality and immediacy. The illustrations of people remind me of stained glass with the use of heavy black lines outlining the figures and some parts bright, others shadowed as if light were filt ...more
Jessica Hanley
I had never heard of this book, but it caught my eye at the library. It tells the story of Daniel, a young boy living in the middle of the Los Angles riots. This very adult issue is told through the eyes of a child. The cover features an abstract-like picture of Daniel holding a cat, imposed over what appears to be gravel. The illustations throughout the story mirror this format. All of the illustrations are abstract like and only use deep, bright colors and scenes. Depending on the action of th ...more
April Helms
Tells about the Los Angeles riots in a simple version that children can understand and appreciate. Daniel witnesses the rioting in the streets of his neighborhood, where people are burning buildings and looting stores. By the end of the night, Daniel and his mother must flee and head to a shelter, where he learns to confront his own prejudices and mends some fences with Mrs. Kim, a neighboring business lady. My one complaint is that there is a scene where Daniel’s cat Jasmine is returned to him ...more
Absolutely horrible book. It was the winner of the Caldecott Medal and my kids picked it off the display shelf, so I said sure. Turns out to be about a child who experienced the violence of inner-city rioting. Windows being smashed, apartments being burned down . . . My kids were getting scared. I understand these things happen and people should be aware, but I'm thinking a kid young enough to want a picture book with few words is too young to be exposed to this kind of ugliness if they don't ha ...more
Heather Johnson (The Lemon Librarian)
Smoky Night challenges readers to think about themselves. In the story, a young African American boy, his cat Jasmine, and his mother watch the riots unfolding in the streets of Los Angeles, as the reckless public steal a TV, clothes, and even groceries from Mrs. Kim’s Korean grocery store. The boy and his mother go to sleep in their day clothes, when a fire ignites within their apartment building, and they are forced to flee to a shelter with their neighbors. Two missing cats help to mend the d ...more
Tayler Pomeroy
“Smoky Night” is written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by David Diaz. The story is about a boy and his mother, as well as their neighbors of their apartment building becoming closer in friendship when their apartment was set on fire in a riot. There are two types of illustrations. The first is a collage of objects that relate to the topic of that page which is physically laid out on a flat surface, painted if needed, and then photographed and used in the book. An example of this is when the dry ...more
Erin Reda
The book Smoky Night is about a mom and her son who are looking out the window as they see rioting people below. Mama is explaining to her son Daniel what rioting is. Daniel is in shock over what he is seeing because he has never seen anything like it before. Daniel is worried that the rioters will come to where they live, but his mama explains that there is nothing there for the rioters. The street is emptying and mama and Daniel go to bed. He sleeps with her tonight in case anything happens. D ...more
Courtney Ennis
This realistic fiction book is about a mom and her son looking out the window and seeing people rioting in the streets. The mom then explains about the rioting. She tells them that it is when people get mad and want to destroy everything. They looked out the window and saw people smashing things and looked angry. Then they see two boys stealing a TV from one of the appliance stores. Other people break the window of a shoe store and they climb in to steal stuff. They start breaking into the groce ...more
Joseph Shea
The story talks about a family in Los Angeles who is staying at their apartment due to a major riot in the city and they all stayed home to be safe from the riot. Then, an ensuing fire comes and the family is forced to leave their apartment leaving alone their fat, orange cat. The boy was sad to leave his cat and he asked the firefighter where his cat was and after the fire ended, the firefighter came out with two cats which was the boy's cat. The boy was happy to see his cat alive and his cat a ...more
WTF did I just read? My daughter brought this home from kindergarten because there was a picture of a cat on the cover and I was therefore compelled to read it to her. The book gives the idea that rioting is a game and that the people doing it are happy, it invokes images of dead bodies in the street, and also that it can be comfortable to be an urban refugee. The kid has a mother who is racist, and while the mother gets over one particular instance of racism by the end of the book, I'm not sure ...more
Christen Tulli
Category: Multicultural

Publication date: 1999

Annotation is posted above via GoodReads

Themes/Topics/ Emotions: Racism, Rioting/Rage, Healing, urban violence

Ways to Use Book:
It is always interesting to me when I see a picture book tackle a tough topic, in this case the Los Angeles race riots in the 90's. It is a wonderful opportunity to start a dialogue about how love breeds love, and hate can also breed hate.

* Librarians could read this book and have students try to use the context to understand
Theresa Womack
As I was looking over the cover of Smoky Night by Eve Bunting, I noticed that the book is square. Not horizontal or vertical in orientation. The picture on the front looks like a real photo graph mixed with a drawing. I am wondering if I am going to find that a lot in the book. This book has won the 1995 Caldecott Award. I know this because it is printed on the back cover along with a description about the book. The end pages match and appear to be real things purposefully laid out and then phot ...more
This picture book portrays a different point of view to the Los Angeles Riots. Author Eve Bunting chose to write the riots from a child's eyes, and that she did. The story of Daniel and his mother during the riots shows cultural points of views which are relate-able to older readers, making this picture book more suitable for 2nd or 3rd grade readers. Daniel and his mother are awoken in the middle of the night and told that they must evacuate to a shelter because their building is on fire. This ...more
This fascinating children's picture book, written by Even Bunting & illustrated by David Diaz, recounts a riot in an urban city in America from the perspective of a young boy who lives with his single mother and watches the riot from their apartment windows above. After the rioters seems to move on, they go to bed but the mother has the boy sleep in her bed with his clothes on, and sure enough she has reason.

In the middle of the night, a fire breaks out and the building must be evacuated, b
Smoky night tells the story of a boy, his mother, and his cat watching the riots in their neighborhood. While they sleep their apartment complex is set on fire and they must flee, without the boy’s cat. At the end of the book the boy is reunited with his cat in a shelter they are staying at. The books illustrations are very interesting. The actual pictures of what is occurring in the story look like paintings, almost in the style of Picasso. A really cool element is in the background, behind the ...more
Caldecott Award

Bunting, E. (1994). Smoky night (D. Diaz, Illustrator). Orlando, FL: Harcourt.

Daniel experiences the 1992 Los Angeles race riots from the relative safety of the apartment he shares with his mother and his yellow cat, Jasmine. That is, until the building catches fire, and he is forced to flee with the other residents, leaving Jasmine behind. What he discovers about people during that traumatic night is a lesson of tolerance and hope. Award-winn
Katelyn Spyhalski
Overall I enjoyed this book, both the illustrations and the story line. This book is about a young man, Daniel, who is witnessing riots and other devastating things on the streets below his apartment. this book depicts many controversial issues such as racism, rioting, loss of a home, and loss of loved ones. By the end of the night, in the book, daniel and his mother must flee and find a shelter to remain safe. This book depicts the Los Angeles riots in a simpler way that children can understand ...more
David Korsak
This book is about an African American boy who lives with his mother in the middle of Los Angeles. This is hard time in LA because riots have broken out in the streets of his neighborhood. His mother tries to comfort him and they both try to get some sleep, but soon after a fire has started in their building. They are forced to go to a shelter and on their way to the shelter they run into their next door neighbor Mrs. Kim. She isn’t known by many people in the building including the boy and his ...more
Kathy Leonard
Bunting, Eve. Smoky Night (1994). In 1992, riots exploded in the city of Los Angeles. Smoky Nights follows a young boy, his mother, and his cat, Jasmine. Bunting takes us there with the protagonist observing lootings, arsons and the destruction of his community. There is an underlying tone from the adults of the story that we stay with our own. However, in the innocence of youth the boy notices that Jasmine and a neighbor, Mrs. Kim’s cat are getting along – comforting each other. “They probably ...more
Ruth Lyons
This story is about a boy named Daniel and the events of the night a riot happened on his street. This book would be good for first or second graders as a read on your own book. The words are easy to read and are in a style that is easy to recognize letters.

The illustrations are both a painting on the opposite side of the text and a collage around the text, both depicting what is going on in the text. The style of the painting reminds me of some of Picasso paintings.
Swear Ahmed
Smoky Night was an interesting read. It's a picture book for children 6-8. This title won a Cadecott award. I think this story was very powerful and demands a mature audience. The theme of the story is overcoming differences, accepting,and maybe even liking them.
The plot is at first focused on the riots outside the home of the main character Daniel, his mother Gena and their cat Jasmine. Jasmine doesn't get along with the neighbor's cat. Gena didn't go to the shop owned by the neighbor becaus
Taylor Railey
"Smoky night" ended with a very powerful meaning. Although, at times, I thought the story was confusing and sometimes didn't piece together, I believe this could be a great story for more advanced readers to learn about judging people before getting to know them.
This story was about a young boy named Daniel who has to witness destruction to his town. After many other problems he is faced with, including his house burning down he realizes the neighbor across the street isn't the person he though
Maddie Sharp
In a wonderful story about Daniel and his mother, this heartwarming and loving story definitely deserves to have won every award possible. It’s amazing how the author and illustrator were able to connect in many forms in order to portray exactly what was happening in the story. The illustrations are formed in a collection and the paintings seem to be textured. The story tackles on many of events that actually have happened to many people. Daniel and his mother have to leave their home for a safe ...more
Terry Marzell
Bunting, Eve. Illustrations by David Diaz. Smoky Night. Orlando: Harcourt, Inc. 1994. Awards: Caldecott Medal, 1995; American Library Association Notable Children’s Book; School Library Journal Best Book of the Year; Parents’ Choice Award Winner. Target Audience: Age 8-12 years. Reading Level: 2.4. This thought-provoking volume describes the reactions, observations, and fears of a fictional child who witnesses the Los Angeles race riots. When the child must evacuate his apartment building becaus ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Personal Response 3 7 Mar 05, 2012 06:57PM  
  • Golem
  • The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship
  • Black and White
  • The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909
  • Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions
  • Frog Went a-Courtin'
  • Prayer for a Child
  • Always Room for One More
  • Duffy and the Devil
  • Song and Dance Man
  • Nine Days to Christmas: A Story of Mexico
  • The Rooster Crows: A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles
  • Shadow
  • Once a Mouse...
  • A Story, a Story
  • The Hello, Goodbye Window
  • Sam, Bangs & Moonshine
  • The Little Island
Also known as Evelyn Bolton and A.E. Bunting.

Anne Evelyn Bunting, better known as Eve Bunting, is an author with more than 250 books. Her books are diverse in age groups, from picture books to chapter books, and topic, ranging from Thanksgiving to riots in Los Angeles. Eve Bunting has won several awards for her works.

Bunting went to school in Ireland and grew up with storytelling. In Ireland, “The
More about Eve Bunting...
Fly Away Home The Wall S.O.S. Titanic Scary, Scary Halloween A Turkey for Thanksgiving

Share This Book