FLASHLIGHT by Betsy James


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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 While staying overnight at Grandpa's, young Marie is scared once the lights are out: ``Mom and Dad are far away, in the bedroom down the hall.'' She is nervous on the fold-out couch in the living room. Grandpa hears her, and provides a flashlight. Marie experiments. She flicks it on and off, comparing the spotlight to the light of day. She finds that moths love her light, and feels she can protect her sleeping sister from the darkness and the unknown. Her confidence grows till she declares herself queen of the night world, but her fears return, and she must call Grandpa one more time before she whispers, ``Don't be scared, Tibby. I've got a flashlight.'' It is a very familiar scenario, although James (Mary Ann, 1994, etc.) adequately captures the different moods and deliberations of Marie as her self-confidence grows. Schuett has an impossible task: capturing on a static page the flickering of the flashlight and the looming shadows in the room. One inspired spread shows ``whining midges, bumbling June bugs'' clinging to a screen, but many scenes repeat Marie's wide-eyed fear and illumination of homely corners of the apartment. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-679-87970-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1997


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