Dark on Light

S. & S./Beach Lane. Dec. 2022. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534487895.
K-Gr 3–Using only poetic couplets which tend to end with the phase “dark on light,” White’s text is the distillation of the journey that Sala depicts of a trio of children with flashlights ablaze who go into the woods at dusk to track down their dog. Sala portrays the three pale-skinned children frolicking along a trail from home through a meadow and woods searching for their dog while enjoying nature. When they find the pup, they all happily trek back home to awaiting parents, who lovingly put them to bed. Searching for the dog and delighting in the nature around them are given equal attention. White’s wonderful lines giving the essence of the children’s trip (“Inviting the trail. Timid the fawn. Dark the hedge that borders the lawn) are brought into focus by the accompanying illustrations. Sala’s illustrations in watercolors, gouache, and colored pencils have a detail, depth, and color that embody the text while fleshing out the story into a comprehensive whole.
VERDICT Text and artwork beautifully in tandem to tell of a successful search and to evoke the feelings of joy that nature can stir. The book works on many levels and would make a good addition to most libraries.

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