Two creatures venture out of their respective realms, one of complete darkness and the other all sunshine, as their friendship grows.
Shaggy (twiggy, tall, and bristled) sadly peers through the darkness to the “place of shining colors,” wishing he could visit; Sparkle (egg shaped, with lop ears and pink cheeks) takes a sunbath and wonders about the “dark and gloomy” across the way. When the two eventually meet in the “band of gray-blue—[the] half light and half dark” middle space, a friendship forms, one that emboldens them to cross borders. Children will enjoy exploring both territories, mysterious, airy, otherworldly places drawn in what looks like pencil and crayon atop cyanotype backgrounds. Cyanotype illustrations make use of solar paper to create saturated exposures of midnight blue, with objects and etchings appearing in a ghostly white. Backmatter explains this unusual process (and also provides step-by-step DIY directions) in clear, accessible language for children keen to learn. How clever to harness a medium dependent upon light and dark, one that renders exquisite artwork in both the inkiest blues and the luminous whites! This moving picture book offers many metaphors and connections, allowing young readers to see how friends help us navigate happy and sad times, worlds of darkness and light manageable only with a lantern of friendship to light the way.
An unusual, tender, and emotional journey in and out of the shadows. (Picture book. 6-10)
Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 2019
Page count: 40pp
Review Posted Online: June 23rd, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2019