The Twilight Library

NorthSouth. Sept. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9780735844964.
PreS-Gr 2–Oliver and Lora have created an homage to the ability of words to paint pictures in the imagination more powerful than anything the real world holds. Soft pastels indicating a forest setting just after sunset open this story. A voice is beckoning the creatures of the night, from bats and voles to nighthawks, crawler, and beetles. “Come, come, come, my friends, let me spin, spin you a story,” says a spider, and although children may have guessed the owner of the voice, they will not be prepared for the bookshelves spun into a glistening web in the gloaming. The insects and animals are somewhat realistic, with humanoid faces. Occasional fanciful touches, such as antennae on the faces, are included in this imaginary realm. The Night Librarian spins from mere words wonderful pictures that the listeners can see (and which the illustrator majestically recreates across page after page) until it is time for parents to usher their sleepy children home for bedtime, for it’s almost sunrise. The story passes as dreams do—wisps are remembered, but far more is forgotten.
VERDICT In a glorious nighttime world that is the opposite of what most diurnal human children know, this book is really just an excuse to show off storytelling and see just how far the author and illustrator can take it. Not essential, but lovely.

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