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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Nightlights, written and illustrated by Lorena Alvarez. Nobrow, Publishers Group Canada. 2016. $27.50 ages 5 and up

"Hey,. Sandy!


Let's walk home together.
How was school today?

I met the new girl, and
we're already friends!
She's so nice!
Her name is Morfie ... "

Sandy's imagination and creativity are vividly portrayed in wondrous spreads alive with color, movement and form. They originate in her dreams, and she spends her spare time bringing them to life on the page the following day. When a new friend approaches her during a school break asking to see what she has drawn, Sandy is pleased. This friend is unseen by her classmates, and mention is made that she might be the girl from the fountain, where she drowned. It sets an eerie tone.

Often her homework and her time spent at school suffer because of her vivid imaginings. She is admonished by her teachers and parents for succumbing to distraction. Morfie, her new friend, is responsive to her art. Her ethereal presence is soon felt in Sandy's nighttime world as well, when she appears wanting to take charge of what Sandy is creating. Morfie's demeanor changes dramatically, becoming demonic and cruel. Readers will know Sandy is in danger, and be grateful for her ingenuity.

The palette choices are bold and brilliant, filling the pages with color, action and interest. The graphic format is sure to appeal to many readers. Sandy's nighttime world is full of wonder. Eerily compelling and sure to captivate its readers, this is a magical world. Those who love fantasy and imagination will want to read it more than once.

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