cover image The Night Box

The Night Box

Louise Greig, illus. by Ashling Lindsay. Clarion, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-328-85093-5

In a wide, quiet yard at dusk, a boy watches as “yellow sinks behind the rooftops.” Inside his snug house, his mother tucks him in with a mug of milk and bedtime kisses, but Max has one more job before sleep: to open the midnight blue box among his toys. With one key turn (“Click... and another click”), the lid flies up and “WHOOSH! Day slips inside as Night sweeps out.” Night “soars, streams, and stretches” into the sky until, finally, it “gets sleepy too,” and returns to the box, where Day has slept. In her picture book debut, Scottish poet Greig’s text is reminiscent of Margaret Wise Brown’s work, with hypnotic, repetitive lines that deftly personify the natural world and evoke quiet anticipation: “Day slips out of the leaves,/ out of the pond,/ out of the pink rose/ and the blue ball.” Debut illustrator Lindsay creates vibrant light and dark worlds, both wild and comforting, with saturated colors and spare spreads that contrast the skies’ thrilling vastness with companionable trees and creatures. Though the beautiful imagery in both the words and pictures invites readers to contemplate the miraculous in every day, this is much more than a poetic meditation: it’s a full, luminous, reassuring story, and at its center is a child who is both profoundly powerful and deeply cared for. Ages 4–7. [em](Sept.) [/em]