George in the Dark

Madeline Valentine. Knopf, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-449-81334-8
During the day, George is the picture of bravery—he stands up to bullies and even eats worms—“But bedtime was a different story.” Valentine (The Bad Birthday Idea) shows George being physically removed from his bedroom door by his “fed up” parents and deposited under the covers with a stern warning to stay put. After George realizes that only he can rescue his beloved Bear, who’s stranded in the middle of the bedroom floor surrounded by all kinds of horror (in reality, the shadowy terrors are simply George’s own toy collection), he finds new reserves of courage—in fact, he’s “almost fearless.” Rendering George and his red jammies in full color while his bedroom is depicted in turbulently textured, graphite chiaroscuro, Valentine strikes a delicate balance between assuring readers that George has nothing to fear while also showing just how deeply frightened he is. There’s a palpable sense of relief mingled with victory in the final scene, as a now-confident George surveys his room and knows he’s master of the house. Ages 3–7. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/06/2014
Release date: 11/11/2014
Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-0-449-81335-5
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