A perfect “read aloud” book, Dark Emperor presents a series of poems about nocturnal animals and explanations of those animals’ actual living habits. Sidman’s poetry is varied in terms of style and language use. Yet each poem brings to life the sights, sounds and smells of a forest at nighttime. The complementary scientific descriptions and glossary clarify the poems, and this combination lends itself well to teaching children about wildlife. Allen’s detailed drawings capture the look and feel of nature after dark. Be sure to look for the red eft on nearly every page.