Dark on Light, by Dianne White/Illustrated by Felicia Sala, (Dec. 2022, Beach Lane Books), $18.99, ISBN: 9781534487895
Three siblings pull on their boots and grab a flashlight to go exploring in this quiet and lovely meditation on the nighttime world, written as a verse that makes for a wonderful readaloud. The siblings encounter the quiet beauty of a sleepy world awakening as they observe a mother deer and her fawn, lavender blooms, moss on trees underneath a dark sky, and nocturnal animals going about their evening. Returning home to their loving parents, they settle down for the night. The verse is delightfully spare and lyrical: “Inviting the trail. Timid the fawn. / Dark the hedge that borders the lawn”; “Silent the owl. Still the night. / Dark the meadow beneath his flight”. Watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil illustrations are sedate, moving from the deep reds and oranges of dusk and twilight to the midnight blues and deep greens of night The colorful surroundings never detract from the evening setting, keeping the reader in the story throughout. Night sky endpapers set the sleepy tone for the story. A very good addition to storytime collections. Display and booktalk with Lizi Boyd’s Flashlight.
Dark on Light has starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly.
“This is a book capable of banishing nighttime fears, showing the night to be a time of wonder, exploration, and even comfort… Lilting, haunting, rhyming, and as unforgettable as a dream the daylight just can’t quite erase.”
— Kirkus Reviews, *STARRED REVIEW*, 9/15/2022
“Closing bedtime scenes in a shared bedroom embody warmth and security… in this quiet celebration of chiaroscuro in the natural world.”
— Publishers Weekly, *STARRED REVIEW*, 10/24/2022
Dianne White lives in Gilbert, Arizona, with her family. She is the author of Who Eats Orange?, Blue on Blue, Green on Green, and Dark on Light.
Felicita Sala is a self-taught illustrator and painter. She has a degree in philosophy from the University of Western Australia. She now lives and works in Rome. She draws inspiration from nature, children, mid-century illustration, folk art, and architecture.