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Monday, January 8, 2018

Flashlight Night, written by Matt Forrest Esenwine and illustrated by Fred Koehler. Boyds Mills Press, Highlights. 2017. $21.99 ages 4 and up

"Shines a path
where waters rush,
reveals a hole in the

Casts a glow upon
a wall
down a dark and
ancient hall."  

Three kids, a teddy bear, a sleeping bag, a stack of books to read, a flashlight and the promise of adventure for the anticipated sleepover will have readers fascinated from start to finish. Wherever that light is focused, attention is drawn to exactly that point. So, what is real is right in front of us, or is it?  On the path from the house to the nearby tree house, our narrator prepares to tell his story.

That story begins, and the children are caught up in the imagined scenes evoked by the beam of the flashlight and the wonder of the imagination. Fence posts become tree trunks, a cat on a fencepost becomes a tiger fleeing into the surrounding woods, and on it goes. A series of rhyming couplets offer up a story replete with an ancient tomb, a country far away, a pirate's treasure, an ocean voyage and a giant sea monster, and a hot air balloon escape. WOW!

Every spread captures the contrast between light and dark, created with digitally colored pencil artwork that show what's real in the muted darkness, while the beam exemplifies the power of the imagination in the story being told. Listeners will be fascinated by the fabulous storytelling. In the end, as the three snuggle in to read from the stack of books carried over, a feeling of simple joy is evidenced. The flashlight's beam allows them to go on another fictional adventure in the pages of their book. Then, the light goes out!


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this, Sal - I appreciate it, and am glad you enjoyed our little book!