From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Canadian astronaut Hadfield presents an uplifting tale about a boy whose deep-rooted fears are eclipsed by the potency and possibility of his dreams for the future. It’s July 1969, and Chris spends his days piloting his cardboard-box rocket, battling extraterrestrials, and voyaging to distant planets. But at night, fear of the dark has him seeing terrifying shadow aliens everywhere and seeking safety in his parents’ bed. Everything changes when he watches the Apollo 11 moon landing on television and catches an awestruck glimpse of outer space, “the darkest dark ever.” Later, unsettling shadows still occupy his unlit room, but Chris is different: with eyes newly opened to “the power and mystery and velvety black beauty of the dark,” he can’t wait to explore the night sky—a dream that will always keep him company (and ultimately come true). Rendered in graphite and digitally colored in dusky hues, the luminous illustrations provide realistic portrayals of the action along with emotionally evocative depictions of the fantastical elements, from the just-menacing-enough coal black silhouettes of nighttime creatures to a wonder-filled dreamscape showing the pajama-clad space-helmeted boy (and his loyal pug companion) floating above his bed surrounded by stars and planets, rocket ships, and animals. Back matter includes a biography, a reassuring message from the author, and photos. VERDICT A splendid story for soothing night fears, fostering future explorers, and teaching children that not even the sky’s the limit when it comes to dreaming big.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Praise for The Darkest Dark:
―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
Chris Hadfield is one of the most seasoned and accomplished astronauts in the world. In May 2013, Hadfield returned to Earth after serving as Commander of the International Space Station, where he and his crew lived for five months (his third mission). Chris frequently speaks to audiences throughout the US and Canada about space exploration and science education.
Terry Fan received his formal art training at Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. His work is a blend of traditional and contemporary techniques, using ink or graphite mixed with digital. He spends his days (and nights) creating magical paintings, portraits, and prints. Together with his brother Eric, he wrote and illustrated the critically-acclaimed picture book, The Night Gardener.
Eric Fan is an artist and writer who lives in Toronto, Canada. He attended the Ontario College of Art and Design where he studied illustration, sculpture, and film. He has a passion for vintage bikes, clockwork contraptions, and impossible dreams. His widely-praised debut picture book, The Night Gardener, was a collaboration with his brother Terry.