When Night Didn’t Come
(Meadowside Children’s Books)
To make Night, what does one need? Surely the darkness, the stars, the moon? When Night does not appear after the Sun has gone for a well-deserved rest, the man in charge (who could easily be Mister Sandman!) discovers a group of children having fun in the epicentre of the universe’s controls room. They are soon rounded up to help avert the potential disaster. And when it is finally done, it is the children’s turn to go and rest … but very soon they are up again. But was it all a dream, a figment of a little boy’s imagination? We are left wondering … but who cares?
The sheer beauty of this wordless book will make your heart make little cartwheels. It is just beautiful. I am always weary of picture books with no words, because obviously the reader has to work harder and make up their own mind about what the story might be and if the artwork is not up to it or the page design confusing, it just does not work. No danger of this here thoigh, as there is so much to see in the pictures, you could probably tell tens of different stories through them. The design is quite interesting, half way between a picture a book and a comic but it enhances the story rather than hinders it.
I particularly loved the feel of the illustrations; they have a soft and dreamy appearance, and the characters look kind and safe, which makes it perfect for bedtime of course. Also the idea of having a backstage to the Universe, with fantastic-looking machinery working out the Moon and the Sun is pure genius (it reminded me of Jules Verne’s books, which I read as a child).