FICTION

The Night Box

illus. by Ashling Lindsay. 32p. Clarion. Sept. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781328850935.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 1—Nighttime, a scary transition for some children, is made friendly and magical in this picture book debut. As the day ends for young Max, it begins for owl, fox, badger, and mole. As everyone is waiting for the night, so is the "Night Box." Max, who has the key, uses it opening the Night Box, and "Day slips inside and Night sweeps out." Darkness moves around slipping into all the open spaces, which Max enjoys as "Night is mischievous." There is also comfort to be found in night as there is something for everyone—"The branch has an owl, the wall has a tree, and Max has a bear and a soft, warm bed." Greig's lush language creates a sensory experience highlighting those youthful observations as, "Max presses his ear to the darkness. Night turns tiny sounds up LOUD. A tap on the window from a tiny branch sounds like rain, and a purr from a kitten sounds like a lion." Lindsay's digital art brilliantly captures the mood and magic of natural world. Her use of shadow captures the evening light as day moves into night, and "when night gets tired," Max opens the box again for night and day to switch places, and we feel that morning sun.
VERDICT A great tool to assuage the fear of the dark; rereads will be a pleasure in this ode to the changing of the time of day.

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