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The Darkest Dark

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,416 Ratings  ·  268 Reviews
Inspired by the childhood of real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield and brought to life by Terry and Eric Fan's lush, evocative illustrations, The Darkest Dark will encourage readers to dream the impossible.

Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he's a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem--at night, Chris doesn't feel so brave. He's afraid of the
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Tundra Books
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Christl Dabu Hi Lori,

Chris Hadfield be in Toronto Nov. 21 at Chapters in Sherway Gardens. You can check out the Penguin Random House site for more events:
Hi Lori,

Chris Hadfield be in Toronto Nov. 21 at Chapters in Sherway Gardens. You can check out the Penguin Random House site for more events:


Community Reviews

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Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield caught my eye because of the Fan Brothers. Their distinctive artistic style jumps out at me. But I have to say, the words, dreams, and message are what I will remember the most from this story.

“For the first time, Chris could see the power and mystery and velvety black beauty of the dark.

And, he realized, you’re never really alone there.
Your dreams are always with you, just waiting.
Big dreams, about the kind of person you want to be.”

Young Chris is scared of th
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: november-2018
I received a copy from Penguin Random House Canada and Tundra Books in exchange for a honest review. 

First off, I am a huge fan of Chris Hadfield. I fell in love with him when I read his memoir, An Astronaut Guide to Life on Earth. He was just such a fascinating person from his humble beginnings, his dreams of being an astronaut right from when he was a child to his older adult years. 

The Darkest Dark follows the story of a younger version of Chris. He's around six years ol
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As if a book written by and featuring Chris Hadfield isn't great enough, his first kids book includes the family pet - a pug! LOVE. Shout out to the Fan brothers for killing it with the illustrations, as usual. Will be one of the first books I buy for my soon to be born niece!
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved Hadfield's memoir, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, from a few years ago. A couple of my book pals mentioned that he did a children's picture book, based on his childhood in Ontario, I knew I had to give it a try. It is a delight and the illustrations are beautiful.
Claire Holloway
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a very good book with lots of cross-curricular links for the children to explore. This book is about the astronaut Chris Hadfield; including his childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut and what inspired him to be an astronaut (the moon landing). This book has plenty of potential for children to engage in drama activities (such as tableaux, thought tracking, improvisation, writing in role and creating soundscapes) which children will enjoy participating in and using drama has a positive ...more
Dec 14, 2016 added it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a wonderfully-illustrated picture book about a young boy who wishes more than anything to become an astronaut.

Unfortunately, he is afraid of the dark!

Will he ever overcome his fear in order to be able to achieve his dream?

I love how this book tells its readers to DREAM BIG, because you might just get what you want, if you work hard enough and believe strongly enough.

Without dreams, life is pretty boring.

And it’s inspired by Chris Hadfield’s childhood, so knowing the Chris in this book
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful little story about conquering your fears and reaching for the stars - literally.
Alice Ludlow
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to this book in one of my English teaching seminars and loved it. Written by astronaut Chris Hadfield (famous for covering David Bowie’s Space Oddity on the ISS), it is based around his childhood dreams of being an astronaut. The story provides a beautiful, innocent account of the common childhood fear of being scared or the dark and what can be found hiding within it. The illustrations provide a further depth to how broad a child’s imagination can be, with hidden aliens scatter ...more
Fiona Hill
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ks1, ks2, picturebooks
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about the Canadian Astronaut, Chris Hadfield’s childhood. Chris always loved space and played make believe with his dog all day everyday. But, Chris could never sleep at night in fear of the dark and aliens. Until 1969, he watched Neil Armstrong step onto the moon. He was able to see the beauty of the dark night, his fear vanished and from that day onward he never gave up on his dream of becoming an astronaut himself! Teaching children to face their fears; to not f ...more
Matthew Bennett
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book! The Darkest Dark does a great job capturing the liveliness of a child's imagination, be it through acting out their aspirations or reacting to their fears. That young Chris goes from fearing the dark to understanding it and therefore conquering his fear, allowing him to follow his dreams is a powerful message.

The artwork from the Fan brothers is exceptional, in particular the star fields and moonscape draws comparisons with Satoshi Kitamura's UFO Diary in that it evokes a sense
Monica Wilcox
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Every year I donate books to a elementary school library. This book was my favorite out of the 32 books in my 2017 selection. An astronaut who is afraid of the dark? Now that's a concept most kids can relate too. This is a great book for parents who have kids who have trouble sleeping. When we overcome our fears, no matter what they are, we set ourselves free.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ks1, picture-books
Really enjoyed reading this book, it beautifully captured the fascination we all have with space. The book deals with overcoming the very common fear of the dark. Being written by an astronaut gives the book a weight that could not otherwise be achieved and creates the sense of being able to reach your dreams whatever the dream is.
Sarah Smith
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! The fact it is written from a real-life astronaut makes it all the more exciting for the children and is very inspirational for children when thinking about their own dreams. The illustrations also really bring the book to life
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, space
My little treat. Par vistumšāko tumsu, kurā mīt briesmīgi briesmoņi, bet arī dzimst lieli sapņi. Kosmiski lieli sapņi.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield (famous for his viral videos from the International Space Station) shares how he was afraid of the dark when he was little. This is a good book for talking about overcoming your fears and following your dreams (and the first moonwalk).

The illustrations by the Fan Brothers (The Night Gardener) are gorgeous -- graphite colored digitally in a style reminiscent of colorized photos. Most of them are nighttime double-page spreads, perfect for showing off the lush, dark shadin
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
The darkest dark is a beautiful picture book inspired by Chris Hadfield's childhood, he dreams of one day becoming an astronaut and his imagination is limitless, yet he fears the dark and all the aliens that may be sneaking up on him at night until he watches the 1969 moon landings and realises that space is the darkest dark possible and he wants desperately to be able to explore it.
A lovely story about overcoming your fears and realising that darkness is the time for your dreams.
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So Chris Hadfield is a God. We all know that. But he is also apparently extremely gifted in addressing children's fears. This is SUCH a beautiful book. I want to buy it. I want to read it to random children every day.
Cindy Kleback
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story about conquering your fears so that you can reach for the stars. In astronaut Chris Hadfield's case, that's what he literally did: conquered his fear of the dark after seeing the first moon landing.
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Albert the dog is me :)
Niki Mclaren
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was lovely <3
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fears aren't the only things that thrive in the dark...
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-it
I bumped it up from a 4 to a 5 for how beautiful the hardcover book is under the sleeve. It's going to be displayed front and center on my son's bookshelves.
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
A sweet, encouraging story for children about the advantages of the dark, and what dreams can be found there.
Kevin Summers
Too many themes (i.e. space travel, dreams/aspirations, being scared of the dark, aliens, not wanting to go to bed) in one book.
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Love the combo of an afraid-of-the-dark book with a wanna-be-an-astronaut book with a bit of history thrown in. Well done!
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Would-Be Astronauts / Children Who Are Afraid of the Dark
A young boy dreams of space but fears the dark in this engaging picture-book autobiography from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, co-written with Kate Fillion and illustrated by the fabulously talented Fan brothers. Convinced that aliens are lurking in the dark, young Chris has trouble at bedtime, and doesn't really want to sleep in a separate room from his parents. But when he watches the Apollo 11 moon landing on TV in July of 1969, while on vacation on Stag Island, Ontario, he realizes that ...more
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I recieved this book in exchangefor an honest review. This in no ways influences my opinion and all of the words below are my own.

Space is definitley the kind of thing that still inspires a child like wonder for me. I love how that was capture in this book, and the artwork is gorgeous! I, of course, also love the little pug the accompanies the story's main character.

I am obviously way out of the actually intended age range for this or any other picture book, so I will probably be sending this
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pb-biography
Canandian astronaut Chris Hadfield tells about his childhood in a fictionalized format, especially about the time he watched the astronauts land on the moon, which inspired him to launch into that career. The back matter gives a few more details about his life and becoming an astronaut. Includes a few photos. Very interesting.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lovely story about a little boy who was afraid of the dark but has since grown up to be an astronaut! A real life astronaut (Chris Hadfield). Good book for aspiring space travellers because it leads to a multitude of deeper discussions around space travel, landing on the moon, our solar system and exoplanets.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read for adults who loved An Astronaut's Guide to Life.
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Chris Hadfield is one of the most seasoned and accomplished astronauts in the world. The top graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School in 1988 and U.S. Navy test pilot of the year in 1991, Hadfield was selected by the Canadian Space Agency to be an astronaut in 1992. He was CAPCOM for 25 Shuttle launches and served as Director of NASA Operations in Star City, Russia from 2001-2003, Chief of ...more