cover image The Darkest Dark

The Darkest Dark

Chris Hadfield and Kate Fillion, illus. by Terry and Eric Fan. Little, Brown, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-316-39472-7

Canadian astronaut Hadfield and collaborator Fillion tell the story of young Chris, who loves space but can’t bear his own room once the lights are out. It’s 1969, and Chris’s parents tell him that if he can’t stay in his own bed, he won’t be able to go watch the moon landing on the neighbor’s TV the following evening. The moon landing is mind-boggling in itself, but something even more important catches Chris’s attention: “He’d never really noticed how dark it was there. Outer space was the darkest dark ever.” This new dark holds infinite promise, and it makes the ordinary dark of his bedroom less daunting. The Fan brothers (The Night Gardener) switch easily between fantasy elements (furry aliens with glowing eyes lurk in Chris’s bedroom) and documentary images (the snowy pictures of the moon landing on the neighbors’ TV screen). The idea that a famous astronaut was once afraid of the dark may win some recalcitrant bed-goers’ hearts, and readers with dreams of space travel will jump at this. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Rick Broadhead, Rick Broadhead & Associates. Illustrators’ agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency. (Sept.) [/em]