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ELI’S NIGHT-LIGHT by Liz Rosenberg


by Liz Rosenberg & illustrated by Joanna Yardley

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-531-30316-0
Publisher: Orchard

Rosenberg (Roots and Flowers, p. 421, etc.) and Yardley (Edna, 2000, etc.) present what happens when young Eli’s night-light burns out. It’s too late to wake Mom and Dad, but the dark in his room grows larger: “His bed was as black as a piece of coal. / His closet yawned like a dragon’s hole. . . .” That felicitous couplet rhymes, as do many others in this text, which is consistently lyrical rather than completely rhymed. Pastel illustrations expand both the melodious quality of the text and its literal meaning, ably displaying light sources as Eli discovers them—the “small gleam from the crack at the door,” the red glow of his clock, the momentary fall of passing headlights’ on his soccer ball, and so on, as well as providing for the boy a particularly appealing feline companion. The illumination of these homely, reassuring objects emboldens the boy to peek out the window and discover stars that will be lit for a reliably long time. Eli’s independent investigation empowers him to sleep fearlessly, knowing he is able to find light whenever his world needs it—a powerful method of defusing the fear of the dark felt by many children. (Picture book. 3-6)