A sleepless kid tackles nighttime fears of lurking monsters with an imaginary army of medieval knights and guardians.
In the shadowy gloom of late night, when sinister beings come out, a protective team takes its place inside and outside the protagonist’s home. Three watchmen dressed in armor stand ready at the front door “with broad shield and heavy sword.” Mounted bareback, “the Horsemen charge, / the Horsemen hunt. / …for all will be outrun.” On the tops of rooftops and trees, a group of Archers aim their bows at the sky. A Midnight Flock of owls swoops in to “search from skies above” while “a fleet patrols the sea.” And in the protagonist’s bedroom “the Knights of Near… / …stand where there is fear.” Deep asleep in “your castle, / …your kingdom” the child can rest assured of the promise made by “THE NIGHT KNIGHTS” that the “night will be still. / The night will be safe.” The staccato, second-person narration is paired with opaque, evocative paintings done in fuchsia and midnight blue that embrace the eeriness of a middle-of-the-night atmosphere. Sharp-eyed kids will note that the powerful warrior images come to life from the protagonist’s toy-filled bedroom. The protagonist is white, with short, mussed hair and blue pajamas.
A worthy addition to the arsenal of bedtime fear-of-the-dark books. (Picture book. 4-7)