The Night Box

Author: Louise Greig

Illustrator: Ashling Lindsay

This is one of my favourite picture books (and not just because my now-3-year-old slept through the night for the first time when we first read it together last year). The lyrical text is a joy to read aloud and the charming, delicate illustrations reveal something different each time we look. Published by Egmont in June 2017 it is aimed at children aged 3-5 but will be enjoyed by any age – it’s certainly become a treasured choice in our house.

Max is a boy, a boy with a key. A key that unlocks a very special box – the night box. As sun sets he opens the night box and as day rushes in, night rushes out. What follows is more of a poem than a story and is gentle and kind – like a warm cup of hot cocoa or a very snuggly hug. It describes the night, and dark, in a way that helped our two-year old see it as something inviting and safe (a little like Plop exploring his fear of the dark in the much-loved classic, “The owl who was afraid of the dark” by Jill Tomlinson).

It is so well written and Louise’s words so exquisitely chosen that I find it almost impossible to not read out loud. There is a natural rhythm and flow to the text that works like a lullaby and has a very relaxing effect. Ashling’s illustrations are a magical combination and help build the calm, tranquil and soothing feel.

This was unlike other picture books I had read and has a very unique style and feel. It was my son’s bedtime choice, every night, for a good 6 weeks or so after our first read – which is quite something for a train mad child who mostly picked books with pistons and fire boxes!

If you enjoy this one, you will almost certainly like the second picture book released by Louise and Ashling too, which was published in May 2018 (also by Egmont).

Between tick and tock


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