Total Pageviews

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Orion and the Dark, written and illustrated by Emma Yarlett. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2015. $19.00 ages 4 and up

"I was feeling more scared that ever before. (Even more than when I went to the big dog show with Grandma.) But Mom always says it is important to remember your manners, especially when you are greeting monsters visitors. So I said, 'Hello. I'm Orion.' And put out my hand ... "

Orion has some imagination! It's got him considering little and big things - in fact, many make him fearful. There is one thing in particular that frightens him the most. It's the dark!

He has used all of his problem solving prowess to assuage all of those fears - eating lots of carrots, wearing night vision goggles, using glow-in-the-dark paint to paint his room, even keeping glow worms for pets. Nothing makes any difference when he is on his way to bed. The stairs are never-ending, his room just keeps getting darker and darker. In a bid to send the dark packing, he decides that yelling might work:

"I've had enough
of you, DARK!
I wish you and your
your MURKY
and your PITCH
      just ...


That's the night that everything changes! As Orion watches above through his skylight, he sees the Dark as it approaches, climbs through the window, and comes right inside. To say he is surprised and even more scared would be an understatement!

As luck would have it, the Dark reaches out, reassures its new friend and invites Orion to go adventuring. Orion shows the Dark of all the places where monsters live, and where the scary sounds are. In doing so, the two have some fun together. Finally, they make a visit to the scariest place of all - outside where the night is at its very darkest.

Turns out that the dark is a magical place, made more so with Ms. Yarlett's humorous, detail-filled illustrations. The design is brilliant, and uses intriguing compositions to convey the fears, the imagination, and the growing friendship that occurs between Orion and his nighttime visitor. Done in mixed media and full of expression, it is sure to keep young readers entertained and curious. They may even be more content at bedtime!

No comments:

Post a Comment