The Night Box from Louise Greig and Ashling Lindsay is a wonderfully poetic picture book, it’s pure joy to read it.
“Day is yawning.
Quiet settles in the the trees.
The birds fold their wings,
the singing stops.”
The opening lines set the calm, yet joyous tone of the narrative. It was really no surprise to learn that Greig is an established poet, her impressive command of language, tone and cadence springs off each and every page.
Max’s house is an idyllic setting – Lindsay portrays a homely cottage, nestled amongst the trees with calming,yellow tones, as his mum ‘calls softly’ for bedtime. The narrative portrays Day getting sleepy, getting ready for bed, just as Max does. And it’s just before he climbs into bed that the magic happens. Max reached for his Night Box, then after a “click.. and another click…”, Night wooshes out, whilst “Day slips inside” – what a gorgeous way to convey the passing of time.
The narrative and illustrations then concentrate on conveying the magic of night as “darkness tumbles into the air.”
The reader sees the animals that enjoy the night more than the day. A breathtaking double page spread of a swan in flight, set against the sparkling night sky, is wonderfully effective and will stop you in your tracks as you read through.
The Night Box imbues the magic of nature, whilst capturing the imagination of little readers. This would be lovely to read in classrooms.