cover image Stories of the Night

Stories of the Night

Kitty Crowther. Gecko, $17.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-776571-97-0

In this collection of original tales by Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award–winner Crowther, Little Bear asks for three bedtime stories, and Mother Bear obliges. In the first, an old woman with long hair, the Night Guardian, puts all the young forest animals, and then herself, to bed (“Go to bed, and then your sleep will catch you,” she tells a reluctant ermine). In the second, child Zhora, lost in the woods, is given shelter by her friend, the bat Jacko Mollo, in his treetop pine nest. In the last, Bo, a little man in a huge overcoat, takes a swim in the ocean, fully clothed, before he can go to sleep. Each story fuses an uncanny wildness with images of coziness and safety. Using a mixture of fine, bright lines and a startling shade of saturated pink that echoes the words’ sense of light, love, and warmth, Crowther abstracts textures and patterns found in the natural world. Together with the appealing illustrated animal nests, these distinctive bedtime litanies might become some families’ favorite nighttime read: “The sky is all black now. But we can count on the stars to lead us into tomorrow.” Ages 3–7. [em](Sept.) [/em]