Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fear Month: Switch on the Night - Ray Bradbury

A couple of years ago, I was in a second-hand shop and picked up a sweet book called Switch on the Night. To be honest, I bought it because I liked the pictures, but I didn't note the author or the illustrators as their names are so small on the cover. After I got home and really looked at this book, I realized it was by Ray Bradbury. I thought certainly it was not 'the' Ray Bradbury, so I research it or in other words Googled it, and yes, this book was written by 'the' Ray Bradbury literary master.

Many children's books help a child deal with their fears, and this book helps a child deal with their fear of the night or the dark. The illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon capture Bradbury's vision and his mastery of suspense in many of his writings.

Notice the long shadows and the different angles each picture provides.

"But where was our little boy?
Up in his room.
With his lanterns and lamps
and flashlights
and candles and chandeliers. 
All by himself. 
He liked only the sun. 
The yellow sun. 
He didn't like the night." 

This book has repetition and is very fun to read. And then in comes Night, and isn't she beautiful.

"And all of a sudden someone said, 'Hello!'
And a little girl stood there in the middle of the white lights, the bright lights, 
the hall lights, the small lights, 
the yellow lights, the mellow lights. 
'My name is Dark,' she said. 
And she had dark hair 
and dark eyes, 
and wore a dark dress 
and dark shoes. 
But her face was as white as the moon,
And the light in her eyes
shone like the white stars.

'You're lonely,' she said."
By the end of the story, the lonely little boy isn't afraid of the night anymore, and now he can join the other children for night games.

"You can see him switching on the white moon,
switching on the red stars,
switching on the blue stars,
the green stars, the light stars,
 the white stars,
switching on the frogs, the crickets, and Night.
And running in the dark,
on the lawns, with the happy children . . .

The words were written in 1955. The illustrations were created in 1993. This book is still in print and readily available for a good price.

What was your childhood fear? Is there a book about it?

1 comment:

  1. Your article truly amazing detail and complete it, it helps me feel comfortable and enjoy watching it, blogging is also very good and has the potential to develop in this direction, wish you have multiple entries or more again and blog one day grow stronger
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