Friday, April 14, 2023

Today's read... Dark on Light by Dianne White

The days are growing longer as the temperatures climb just a little bit. Luckily, nights are still cool, but soon, we'll be spending time gazing at the wonders those evening hours hold (I'm thinking tree bats, owls, fireflies). So, today's read caught my attention. We have an entire row of flashlights lined along a tiny shelf above our potato/onion bin for sudden night excursions like the one on the cover. Okay, usually ours involve finishing up almost forgotten farm chores, but it's still a treat even then... yes, I might actually enjoy forgetting those chores and running out after dark because then, I take a moment to gaze at the stars, hear the insects, and have even seen baby skunks scurrying by (but with distance!)

Enough of my rambling! Let's dive right in...

by Dianne White
Illustrated by Felicita Sala
Beach Lane Books
Picture Book 48 pages
ages 4 to 8

As the sun sets, three siblings discover nature’s nighttime beauty in this soothingly rhythmic and gorgeously illustrated bedtime picture book from the acclaimed author-illustrator team behind Green on Green.

Gentle the evening. Sweeping the skies.
Dark the shadows as twilight arrives.
Rose the horizon, gleaming and bright.
Twilight and evening and dark on light.

When the family dog trots away from the house at sunset, three siblings tumble out the door to go find him. Soon they find themselves immersed in the luminous colors, shades, and shadows of nature at night—both dark and light. They wander through moonlit lavender meadows, past a timid fawn, beneath a snowy white owl, and much, much more as the night deepens until, at last, they find their sneaky pup.

With beautiful illustrations by Felicita Sala and lyrical text by Dianne White that’s perfect for reading aloud, this book invites young readers to step into the wondrous, colorful nighttime natural world.



The darkness of night unfolds into the scene of a small adventure and invites as a bedtime read.

When the family dog wanders off in the evening and the three children can't find him anywhere, they grab a flashlight and head out to find him. But the puppy isn't the only thing they discover as nature settles into nighttime.

This book is written with lovely, poetic form, which flows smoothly and invites to lean back and enjoy the verbal scenes. Each phrase only holds a few words, and the author has made sure to keep the vocabulary very age appropriate. It's beautifully woven (as in adults will enjoy the poetry) without alienating young listeners.

The illustrations are cleverly done. Not only are these also well-done from the plain, artistic stand-point (and beautiful), but they take care to show that nighttime doesn't mean black and white. Instead, shades and colors fitting to the scenes create a natural and inviting atmosphere. This makes nighttime more inviting and awakens curiosity. There are animals and surprises hidden here and there as the single beam from the flashlight lightens up areas here and there. I would have wished there was more going on as some moments rang a little monotone, but this does invite to calming down and heading into those sleepy hours.

This is a lovely bedtime read, which relaxes, calms fears of the dark, and might have young listeners wanting to head out on their own nighttime adventure soon.

And here they are...

Dianne White lives in Gilbert, Arizona, with her family. She is the author of Who Eats Orange?Blue on BlueGreen on Green, and Dark on Light

Felicita Sala is a self-taught illustrator and painter. She has a degree in philosophy from the University of Western Australia. She now lives and works in Rome. She draws inspiration from nature, children, mid-century illustration, folk art, and architecture.

No comments: