The Midnight Panther

Poonam Mistry

Bonnier Books UK (3+) 9781787418929 (Hardback)

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Panther feels sad that he doesn’t share some of the majestic qualities of other big cats like the lion’s mane, the tiger’s stripes, or the leopard’s spots. He tries to create his own special qualities using pollen and leaves from the world around him. Eventually, he ends up finding where he belongs without having to change. A book about finding courage, self-belief, and a sense of belonging as panther goes on a journey of self-discovery. 

Striking end papers invite the reader in to explore and immerse themselves into panther’s world. There is stunningly beautiful use of Indian art techniques presented in a fresh and engaging way with detail, patterns and symmetry. It is highly stylised and stylish, but images are always clear to interpret.  Effective use of colour denotes the forest, sun, and water.  Intricate details invite repeat readings and reward with new elements and connections. Incredible composition and perspective give the reader a feeling of being in the trees alongside Panther. The book showcases an intricate artistic style that fuses Indian patterns and illustrations, making clever use of formatting, composition, and position to provide a visually stunning experience. The movement of the animals, weather and clouds are powerfully captured emphasising the free-flowing beauty in both foregrounds and backgrounds. The illustrations feel almost tactile, they are textural and detailed with a clear sense of place established through the illustrations.  There’s a fable like quality to the story and its artwork which expertly depicts light and dark.   

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Poonam Mistry

Poonam Mistry graduated in 2010 with a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration from the University of Hertfordshire. Her style incorporates her love of nature and explores the relationships between pattern, shapes and colour. She has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal three times; in 2019 for her debut picture book, You’re Safe with Me, in 2020 for You’re Snug with Me and in 2021 for How the Stars Came to Be.

Shadowers' reviews and artwork

The Midnight Panther is an amazing book that has beautiful art work and illustrations. I would give it 10/10 :) :)


Rebel Readers

I read the Midnight Panther.The opening and great illustrations in this book made me want to read on because the panther wants to be like the other big cats and he can't because he is a panther and not a lion, tiger or leopard. He is a panther, beautiful like midnight. The art in this book is amazing. I have never seen as beautiful and creative illustrations in my life.


Rebel Readers

I think that The Midnight Panther illustrations on the front cover is very warm and they make me feel calm, relaxed. The illustrations inside of the book are very intricate and they really help show a meaning to the book. The Midnight Panther is very unique compared to others that I have read. The morale of the book is to never let anyone think for you about how you look and think about yourself not about others.


Lionel Readers

The Midnight Panther is a book with intricate illustrations and a lot of great calming colours and with a gorgeous cover. The paragraphs are so carefully written that, that even young kids can understand! I would recommend this book to children from years 3 - 7. This book has a deep meaning behind it: you are perfect just the way you are and do not change yourself for any girl or boy. In my opinion, this is a great read for kids and adults. I rate this book a 10/10 / 5 stars!


Lionel Readers

The book, The Midnight Panther is a really interesting book. The story is about a panther who tries to be as fearless and as dazzling as the other big cats, but he finds out that he does not need to change anything about him! The illustrations are made in a way that does not try to mimic real life, but they are made using intricate patterns, which made the book stand out to all the others in a good way. I really like the calm vibe the book gives me when I read it and the moral: no matter what others think, you are beautiful in your own way. The story is amazing, story-wise and illustration-wise!


Lionel Readers

The Midnight Panther is a phenomenal book because it teaches young children, teenagers and adults to have courage in yourself and your place in the world. The little black panther is not like the other cats, so everyone should embrace themselves. Overall, this book really intrigued and caught my attention. The illustrations are magnificent and unique. I give this 5/5 stars.


St James Hatcham Book Club