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
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