Monday, March 20, 2017

The Darkest Dark

The Darkest Dark 
By Astronaut Chris Hadfield
Illustrated by The Fan Brothers
Little, Brown and Company, 2016

A young boy loves all things space. He builds a “rocket” out of cardboard boxes. He pretends that his dog is an “alien”. However, the boy is not a fan of the dark. When it is time for bed he keeps waking up his parents because it is too dark (and that is the “kind of dark that attracts the worst sort of aliens”). Finally the parents give an ultimatum: if he gets up again then he cannot go next door tomorrow. Well, it turns out that next door is the only house on the island that has a TV and the next day the world was going to watch two astronauts to become the first people to walk on the moon. The boy realizes that he must be good and go to bed since he cannot miss watching that! The next day the boy is thrilled to watch the men arrive and walk on the moon. And it is then that he discovers that space is darker than the darkest dark in his bedroom—and he likes space, so he decides he will be okay even in the dark.

This is a fun book with great illustrations (The Fan Brothers are amazing, yet again!). The mixture of realism and fantasy is just right (and the aliens are in shadow enough that imagination can make them even scarier without actually scaring the pants off of little kiddos). The message at the end does lean a little on the sappy side, but kids won’t mind the “you can do anything!” message. Plus, it is written by a real-live astronaut that kids can google and see singing songs in space (yes, that Chris Hadfield). So all-in-all any space or imaginative kid will enjoy this read.

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