The Nocturnals by Tracey Hecht
Interested in observing the habits of nocturnal animals ? This 2016 Phases of the Moon calendar lets you select optimal observation times for these creatures of the night. Thanks Fabled Films for the calendar. Great swag for someone named Moon.
I thought that I possessed a basic knowledge of animals that are active in the dark i.e. cats, bats, and owls.
Now Tracey Hecht has introduced me to some less familiar, but certainly fascinating and unusual noctural animals.
Take a look at the curious creatures of the night pictured below:
pangolins, sugar gliders, kiwis, wombats, honey badgers, and jerboas.
They look amazing!
The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions is the inaugural title for a new series that invites readers into a world of darkness. However this is not a frightening experience. These lively animals, brimming with personality, are out to solve a mystery: Why have several of their ranks been disappearing?
The group, known as The Nocturnals, forms a "Brigade" to investigate. Their search takes them deep inside the earth. There they discover that an imposing crocodile and his cohorts are behind the abductions; that one of their own has betrayed them; and that a high-stakes underground game of hockey places the fate of The Nocturnals in peril.
The story's light, lively prose is entertaining.
I especially liked the hockey game with its playful nod to Alice in Wonderland's hedgehog croquet balls and flamingo mallets, The Nocturnals contend against the crocodiles (Nocs vs. Crocs) using a tarantula named Harry for a puck and kiwis for sticks.
The game features a nail-biter finish complete with a few unexpected twists.
A satisfying conclusion to this episode makes for engaging middle grade fantasy and adventure. And you don't have to wait until dark to discover it.