NIGHT GUARD by Synne Lea


by ; illustrated by ; translated by
Age Range: 7 & up
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In a series of poems that together make a whole, a child reflects on life’s imponderables through the shifting seasons.

Imported from Norway, this story of a sensitive child in need of a friend, of just the right dog, and of the reassurance of a stable family will strike a chord with anyone who has wondered if dreams, good or bad, might come true. The stunning, surrealistic artwork recalls Magritte. The illustrations command lingering, from the fanciful cover and dreamlike endpapers to the full-page interior art. The text, which similarly invites repeated readings, taps into the reservoir of fear within all children of what the future may hold and captures the lonely narrator’s contemplation of abandonment. Mom, a cryptic character with her own thwarted dreams, seeks the warmth of summer while recognizing the loneliness of childhood: “If you feel sad, she says, / maybe it’ll help you / to know that the trees notice it. / … / They’d like to creep into / the hollow of your neck / and be comforted by / comforting you.” The book’s square trim size and length—and its elusiveness—suggest that this is for older children.

A quiet, contemplative book that will appeal to introspective children and adults. (Picture book. 7 & up)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5458-2
Page count: 82pp
Publisher: Eerdmans
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2016