Switch on the Night

Switch on the Night

by Ray Bradbury
     
 

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A new, larger trim size and a handsome jacket make this reissue by premier science fiction author Ray Bradbury and Caldecott Medal-winning artists Leo and Diane Dillon a stunning gift book.

A little boy likes lanterns and lamps, but he doesn't like light switches because they turn off the light. Then one day, a little girl named Dark shows up at his door. She

Overview

A new, larger trim size and a handsome jacket make this reissue by premier science fiction author Ray Bradbury and Caldecott Medal-winning artists Leo and Diane Dillon a stunning gift book.

A little boy likes lanterns and lamps, but he doesn't like light switches because they turn off the light. Then one day, a little girl named Dark shows up at his door. She helps the boy to see light switches as turning on the night, rather than turning off the light. And when he switches on the night, he also switches on the stars and moon and the crickets and frogs. Sure to reassure any child who has felt afraid of the unknown, Switch On the Night will also impress adult readers with its subtle message about things that are "dark" and its imaginative approach to understanding that which is different.


Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
First published in 1955, this original fable about a boy who overcomes his fear of darkness is Ray Bradbury's only picture book for young children. While all of the other children happily chase one another across the summer lawns amid the shadows, the little boy sits lonely and alone in his room with his lanterns, lamps, flashlights, candles, and chandeliers blazing. Then, one special night, a magical girl, named Dark, shows the little boy a new and better way to look at the Night. Turning switches didn't turn off the light, but turned on the Night with all its glory. Dark introduces the boy to singing crickets, chirping frogs, shining stars, and the big, beautiful glowing moon. Illustrations by Caldecott winning artists, Leo and Diane Dillon are dedicated to the artist M.C. Escher. These spellbinding perspectives and nighttime tones will fascinate readers of all ages. 2000, Knopf, Ages 4 up, $14.95. Reviewer: Leslie Julian
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-A lonely child loses his fear of the night after a girl named Dark teaches him that the very same switches that turn off lights can turn on the Night, and with it the crickets, and frogs, and stars, and moon. Originally published in 1955 (with illustrations by Madeleine Gekiere), the story has an old-fashioned, impersonal air-the boy is never named; he looks out his window at ``the other children''; his parents are ``Mother and Father''-but also has that vivid sense of magic that infuses all of Bradbury's poetic writing. The illustrations enhance this otherworldly mood, combining simultaneous views from several directions and distances into single scenes; the effect is Escher-like, lit either in pale gold or luminous blue-green. A minor gem, visually appealing in art and design, strongly atmospheric, and founded on an ingenious strategy for coping with a common fear.-John Peters, New York Public Library
Carolyn Phelan
"Once there was a little boy who didn't like the Night," begins Bradbury's tale, which originally appeared as a picture book in 1955. The boy is afraid of the night because he doesn't really know or understand it. When Dark, personified as a little girl with expressive hands and a huge Afro, comes and introduces him to the beauty of night, he gradually loses his fear. The Dillons' interpretation works well intellectually and aesthetically. In the first half of the book, the words and illustrations appear on white pages, but after Dark enters, the text appears in white against a black background. Within the soft-edged paintings, the boy's house is depicted with dreamlike images containing multiple perspectives and optical illusions, reflecting the child's feelings of disorientation; but as he and Dark explore the night, the scenes become less disquieting and more beautiful in their strangeness. A fresh interpretation of an old picture book theme.
From the Publisher
"[The] story has that vivid sense of magic that infuses all of Bradbury's poetic writing. The illustrations enhance this otherworldly mood. . . . [A] gem, visually appealing in art and design, strongly atmospheric, and founded on an ingenious strategy for coping with a common fear."
—School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375806087
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
08/28/2000
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.28(w) x 9.28(h) x 0.33(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Ray Bradbury, the famous science fiction author, wrote this story in 1955 to help his own son overcome fear of the dark. The author lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Leo and Diane Dillon have received two Caldecott Medals and a Coretta Scott King Award for their distinguished illustrations.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Los Angeles, California
Date of Birth:
August 22, 1920
Place of Birth:
Waukegan, Illinois
Education:
Attended schools in Waukegan, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California
Website:
http://www.raybradbury.com

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