cover image Alfi & the Dark

Alfi & the Dark

Chronicle Books, Sally Miles. Chronicle Books, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-87701-527-7

When Alfi wakes up in the middle of the night, he wonders out loud where the Dark goes when the lights are turned on. The Dark hears Alfi's question and agrees to answer him, but only after the boy offers his own theory. Alfi suggests that the Dark goes up into the sky beyond the Light. The Dark is silent, feeling sad and lonely, for he believes the Light has all the fun and friends. Only when Alfi promises to be the Dark's friend forever is the secret shared: Dark is simply invisible at times. A reassured Alfi falls asleep as the Dark watches over him. The usually scary Dark is presented as a vulnerable being and therefore nonthreatening. Le Cain's pictures sympathetically portray the Dark as a large shadowy profile, a friendly court jester's face with a gaping grin and a swooping chin. There is comfort in this book, which gives Dark all the encompassing warmth of a well-loved blanket. Ages 2-6. (Dec.)