cover image Dark on Light

Dark on Light

Dianne White, illus. by Felicita Sala. Beach Lane, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8789-5

The creators of Green on Green follow that seasonal work with one focused on shadow and light, centering lulling, mesmerizing sensate verse accompanied by artwork in warm, saturated hues. At a house in a valley bathed in sunset colors, a family’s dog sets off by itself. Three light-skinned, fair-haired children look out a window as the sun sets (“Rose the horizon, gleaming and bright./ Twilight and evening and dark on light”), then take a shadow-casting flashlight outside to search for the dog. They’re not too worried; one child stops to sniff lavender blooms, while another pauses beneath the moon. They surprise an owl, find the dog, then revel in the sight of enormous trees stretching up to the stars (“Damp the moss. Ancient the sky./ Dark the leaves, crisp and dry”). Light from the house spills onto the porch as the three return, and closing bedtime scenes in a shared bedroom embody warmth and security (“Cozy the blanket. Pillowed the head./ Dark the attic. Snug the bed”) in this quiet celebration of chiaroscuro in the natural world. Ages 3–8. (Dec.)