34th out of 97 books — 170 voters
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Switch on the Night
A LONELY LITTLE boy who is scared of the dark sits in his room alone, with only light for company, until a little girl named Dark appears and shows him that light switches don't just switch off the light--they switch on the night. And to switch on the night is to switch on the stars, the moon, the crickets, and the frogs. With the Dillons' dreamlike illustrations, "Switch ...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published September 14th 2004 by Dragonfly Books
(first published 1955)
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This is a wonderful children's book by Bradbury and illustrated by Caldecott winners. It deals with the common childhood fear of the dark. Rather than suggest all the imaginings of a fearful child are baseless and therefore easily dismissed, Bradbury awakens the senses to the wonders of the night so a child can find the beauty to counteract the fear. It's a lovely little story.
A great celebration of literal darkness (sun down, lights out). A boy, extremely anxious about the dark, is visited one evening by a friendly girl called Dark. Sort of a mythological incarnation of the dark, she turns his fear inside out, showing him all the great new lights, sounds and experiences one can have at night. Penned by science fiction master Ray Bradbury, with excellent (as always) illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon that evoke the twisty-turny geometry of M.C. Escher.
Jan 17, 2010 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
A bedtime story as only Ray Bradbury could write. It's a good story for those among us who are afraid of the dark and it provides a unique perspective on what you can discover when you "Switch on the Night." The illustrations are a bit bizarre and surrealistic, but interesting nonetheless. Our girls liked this story, although they wonder why I won't let them play outside in the dark.
Jan 27, 2012 Melanie rated it 3 of 5 stars
A young boy is afraid of the dark and must have all the lights in the house on if possible. One night, when everyone else is gone, he turns every light in the house on. Then a young girl knocks on the door and introduces herself as Dark. Dark takes the boy by the hand and gently introduces him to the night and proves it's nothing to be afraid of.
A picture book about overcoming the fear of nighttime via a clever, typically Bradburian premise (don't switch off the lights, switch on the dark), with illustrations by the masterful Leo and Diane Dillon. I don't know if it works as a children's book or not, but as an RB fan I'm glad to have finally read it.
Excellent story. It's too bad Bradbury never did more children's books; his prose style is well suited to them. And the illustrations to this later edition are very good (though I would like to see the 1955 original someday). The Dillons' work here evokes both M.C. Escher and Chris Van Allsburg.
Jan 22, 2010 Audra Green rated it 5 of 5 stars
A kids book by Ray Bradbury? Awesome. As a former outdoor educator and camp counselor, this book is perfect for prepping kids for night games or activities, or for those that have fears of the dark. Instead of switching off the light -- we switch ON the night!
American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a "student of life," selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He bec ...moreMore about Ray Bradbury...