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Elsa and the Night
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Elsa and the Night

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  73 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
In a very poetic way, Elsa and the Night tells the story of an extraordinary friendship. Can one make friends with the night? In this story, Elsa can! How, may you ask, could someone even meet the night? Well, one day Elsa is sitting at her kitchen table and, because she is bored, counting the raisins in her cereal. She then suddenly hears a sound coming from under the ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 8th 2014 by Gestalten (first published January 1st 2014)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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David Schaafsma
Sep 29, 2015 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Bold and colorful story of a girl that befriends the night. It's about friendship, but also about sleep loss, and is filled with cut-out paper art illustrations that are wonderful and sometimes startling, especially as the night, after having been once captured by Elsa, comes out and begins to retake the sky. I also like the sometimes surprising poetry and unique insights. Not a typical kid book, an all ages art book. Reminded me a little of the conceptual work of Richard McGuire, with sharply ...more
Mar 02, 2015 Ingrid rated it really liked it
For anyone who:
- dislikes raisins
- wishes they had a friend who was an elephant
- tries to avoid bedtime for 30 years or more
- like the slick, Scandinavian design aesthetic and cheeky for-children-but-also-for-adults sort of books

Sep 10, 2014 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This strange and beautiful picture book is translated from the original Swedish. It is the story of Elsa who discovers the Night underneath her sofa one night just as she is counting the raisins in her cereal. So she tucks the Night into a cake tin and gives him some raisins too. Then she hides the cake tin down in the basement. With the Night trapped, day continues on and one without end. Finally, Elsa takes the Night out of his cake tin and starts to talk about how much she misses her best ...more
Oct 26, 2014 Mark rated it liked it
From Publishers Weekly:

Swedish writer-illustrator Mellgren’s eccentric story offers the emotional depth of a novel and artwork worth a gallery showing. Crisp, silkscreenlike spreads in plum, sienna, umber, and olive tell the story of Elsa, a badger who finds a cloudy blob of something "neither an animal nor a ghost" in her apartment. She recognizes the intruder as fearful, wriggly Night; she shuts the thing in a cake tin with some raisins and puts it in the basement. Without night, though, life
Kathleen Dixon
Jul 29, 2016 Kathleen Dixon rated it really liked it
This lovely bedtime book tells the story in quite a new way. Elsa, a badger, can’t sleep. Just as day is dawning she discovers something hiding under her sofa. She coaxes it out – it’s Night. So she shuts it in an old cake tin and locks it in the basement. Of course, Night can no longer do its job, and nobody gets any sleep.

I love the illustrations in muted colours - they're simple yet evocative. The story unfolds beautifully, and we are left in comfort with the soothing power of sleep finally s
Jan 09, 2015 Samantha rated it really liked it
Elsa is lonely after the passing of her friend. One night she finds Night personified in her house and hides it away so that it remains daylight for far too long causing car accidents and grumpy people as far as the eye can see.

Eventually, Elsa visits with Night and tells it her own sad story and Night helps to comfort her and bring balance to the world once again.

Poetic and beautiful, this is a quirky/wonderful bedtime book for all ages.
Elsa catches the night, befriends it, and shares the sad story of the death of her friend Olaf. This is an oddly comforting bedtime story for older readers, especially ones who appreciate the eerie.
Dov Zeller
Apr 16, 2015 Dov Zeller rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, kids
Strange, poetic, beautiful, haunting story of loss, adventure, sleep deprivation, and friendships lost and found.
Nov 04, 2014 Peacegal rated it really liked it
Arty, odd, and fun.

I think one aspect of this book (the death of the elephant) might be a little too much for the tiniest tots.
Feb 21, 2016 Robin rated it really liked it
Shelves: international, sweden
Elsa captures the Night, resulting in a very extended day, with birds getting hoarse because they have sung for so long and owls and bats getting drowsy longing for sleep. Finally, Elsa opens up and tells her story to Night, a story of love (of her elephant friend Olaf) and loss, and working lonely nights as a lighthouse keeper, never falling asleep and being used to night being light. Then they walk together, Elsa sharing more memories, and Night growing larger. It grows bigger, carrying up ...more
Oct 08, 2014 Erica rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
I'm not sure what I think about this story. It's probably one of those that has to sit with you for a while before the full enormity of it settles in. For about the first half of the story I had no clue what was going on. There was a heaviness or resonating sadness permeating the words. It is not until the night starts to grow that we learn that Elsa is still mourning the loss of her friend. In many ways I feel like the message of this story will be lost on the little ones. My first impression ...more
Kimberly [Come Hither Books]
An odd picture book that some will love, but didn't work for me. Too many words drown out the artwork. The heart of the story lies in Elsa's past, not confessed until halfway through, and that makes things feel distant. But it's a unique take on a bedtime story, melancholy and unconnected, and that may make it worth a read.
Nov 03, 2014 Angie rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Sometimes pictures books from foreign countries just don't translate well. This is one that I don't think most readers in the U.S. are going to get. The story skips around a lot, doesn't always make sense and is just a lot strange.
Barb Middleton
Jan 28, 2016 Barb Middleton rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, grief, anger
Interesting book on grief and anger. The grade 4 students didn't really get it at the end so we discussed what it meant as they couldn't make the necessary inferences. The translation might account for the few clunky transitions. Beautiful illustrations and quite different.
Justin Bloch
Dec 10, 2014 Justin Bloch rated it it was amazing
Picture books from Scandinavia are always strange and different from originally-in-english books, with bits of melancholy. The tone of this reminded me of another book, "Lotta's Bike." My daughter always enjoys them.
Robin Rousu
Dec 29, 2014 Robin Rousu rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Beautiful and weird. Recommended for adults and kids ages 6-8 who like beautiful and weird Swedish picture books.
Anna K
Jan 07, 2015 Anna K rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Lovely illustrations, though the tone of the text did not seem to fit at all. It was terribly matter of fact and lacked the lyrical imagination in the art.
Feb 04, 2015 Sean rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This book is amazingly beautiful. I personally think this is a book that children will enjoy but adults will cherish.
Ken Priebe
Jul 29, 2015 Ken Priebe rated it it was amazing
This book is a true work of art I discovered at our local library. Truly poetic and melancholy story coupled with beautiful illustrations and design.
Dec 30, 2014 Emily rated it did not like it
It was bizarre...not my type of storybook--and I don't believe my students would understand the premise or the moral.
L.K. Sukany
L.K. Sukany rated it it was ok
Oct 30, 2016
Kate rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2015
Slowrabbit rated it really liked it
Feb 07, 2015
Leo and Ian
Leo and Ian rated it did not like it
Nov 15, 2014
Erin rated it liked it
Mar 01, 2015
Leanna rated it it was amazing
Dec 02, 2014
Majaunta rated it it was amazing
Aug 27, 2015
Bobby rated it really liked it
Jun 15, 2015
Lynn rated it really liked it
Jun 06, 2014
Jane rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2015
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