Fear of the dark is a fairly common theme to be found in picture books, but rarely is it addressed so magically and so well as in Marie Voigt’s The Light in the Night.
Our main character, a little girl called Betty, isn’t the one afraid of night-time darkness. In fact she loves it: ‘with the night came the most magical stories’. But one of her favourite books features a bear called Cosmo whose fear of the dark is making him miserable. Just as Betty is wishing she could help Cosmo, up he pops in her bedroom!
As Betty gently demonstrates to her new friend, ‘we need the dark to see the light’, as well as other things like beautiful shadows and the moon. They journey through a wood and when Cosmo refuses to go into a cave Betty assures him: ‘Your hand in mine, we can do it together.’ In one of the book’s most beautifully illustrated spreads (and there’s lots of competition), they find that the cave is definitely worth exploring. Soon, however, Betty experiences her own prickling of fear as she realises she doesn’t know the way home. Can she and Cosmo overcome this together too?
As someone who insisted on having the landing light on overnight for a good few years, I’ve got an awful lot of time for books on this subject.
With its warm and slightly ethereal illustrations, and its wonderful message of tackling fear with others, The Light in the Night is such a hugely comforting story. Plus, a character literally jumps out of a book to have a night-time adventure, which is completely wonderful.
Also by Marie Voigt – Red And The City.[Book supplied by the publisher for possible review on MyBookCorner, according to our policy. We review the books we love.]