Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

In the Darkness of the Night

In the Darkness of the Night

Emily Rand
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Tate, 2018   ISBN: 978-1849764810

It is a nighttime and a little girl’s father puts her to bed. As she is tucked up in bed “curled up warm and tight” all kinds of things are going on in the homes around her. The noises that she hears all tell a story.

In one house a father washes the dishes and the house is now all neat and tidy. At another house someone is coming home late and we can hear the “jangle of keys / And the squeak of the gate.”

A motorbike whizzes down the road delivering a meal to someone, and further down the street people leaving the cinema and restaurants laugh and talk as they make their way home.

Though a lot of people are ending their work day, there are some who are only just beginning theirs. One of these is an office cleaner, who wields her mop with a swishing sound. We know that the police are also about because we hear a police siren. A mother is also up, pacing the floor and trying to sooth her fractious baby. Underground, a railway engineer works on the tracks, and in a hospital a nurse checks on her patients.

Soon enough the night will shift as dawn creeps into the sky, and a new day will begin.

This beautiful book perfectly captures the feeling of a city at night. Carried along by gently rhyming verse we travel around the streets sharing in people’s lives.