There really isn't anything as arresting as a picture book you had read to you in childhood and which you haven't read since. I came across this book while searching the bookshelves of my grandparents' cottage for something entirely different and was as distracted from my search as if someone had reached through time and kidnapped me.
This book is light on words and long on pictures, and the connections a child will make in his or her mind while looking at the pictures and hearing the story are entirely different from the connections an adult will make. As I sat on the cottage floor and turned the pages, I felt that most of the impact of the book lay in my memories of it rather than the book itself. I practically tasted and smelled every word and every color when I was a kid. It was perhaps my first experience of the intersection between the fanciful and the eerie, the wistfulness of evening and the mundanity of it. Just writing this review, I can recall how fascinating I found the Pearl of Evening next to the scent of toothpaste and the sensation of my sleeper pajamas lying between my just-washed legs and the lap of the adult reading to me and probably at least one cousin. Reading this book was almost like being there again, if only for a garbled, adultified moment.