cover image Beatrice Likes the Dark

Beatrice Likes the Dark

April Genevieve Tucholke, illus. by Khoa Le. Algonquin, $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-6437-5157-3

An instance of compassion prompts two siblings to overcome their emotional distance in Tucholke’s gothic-inflected picture book debut. “Beatrice likes the dark dark dark/ and the dark dark dark likes her,” reads incantatory prose as readers see the black-clad girl picnicking in a graveyard and savoring the hush and creatures of starry nights. Rust-clad sibling Roo is the exact opposite, preferring “sunshine and birthday parties and smashing crashing/ blasting noises and wearing pink and red and purple.” When Beatrice creates a potion one night that makes Roo less afraid of the dark, Roo teaches Beatrice a song to mitigate the sensory overload she feels during the day. Le’s earth-toned art revels in fairy tale romanticism as the two protagonists, portrayed with pale skin and blond hair, discover that, without changing their fundamental preferences, “they can love each other, all the same.” Ages 4–8. (Sept.)