Lights Out (4-8yrs)
In a world marred by light pollution, this quest for true darkness is a clarion call to turn out the lights—so that all may see.
Creatures search for Night in this story about the negative effects of light pollution.
In the town in which they live, Fox and Beetle see an abundance of artificial light and set out to search for "the Dark of Night." Instead, they find electric lights everywhere, ones that confuse Songbird, silence Frog, and disturb Bear's hibernation. Each of these creatures joins Fox and Beetle on their journey into new terrains, including mountains, deserts, and dunes, but all are still dominated by electric lights. When they come upon baby turtles hatching on the shore, the creatures decide to swim to a small island. Finally, they see the natural nighttime light they crave. A rhythmic refrain ("Across the wide, wide world, / they search... / for the Dark of Night. // But everywhere--Lights!") creates a satisfying cadence in the text. Two spreads toward the open and close of the story feature short rhymes in four stanzas about the kinds of artificial and natural lights the creatures encounter; these anchor the story and contrast the two kinds of light in appealing ways. The closing spreads with the dark sky and natural, nocturnal lights are enchanting. Stars twinkle, and the moon glows, as Mother Nature would have it. The fade-in title design on the book's cover is especially smart, communicating much about the story. An author's note kicks off the book, noting how little we hear about light pollution.
Illuminating. (Picture book. 4-8)