The Darkest Dark
The Darkest Dark

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Annotation: Chris loves pretending he is an astronaut, exploring the universe, but his fear of the dark halts his brave adventures, until the moon landing shows him how exciting the unknown can be.
Catalog Number: #144545
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-39472-6 Perma-Bound: 0-605-98464-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-39472-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-98464-6
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2016000220
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
As a young child, Chris is fascinated by space, but he's afraid of the dark and spends his nights in his parents' bed, much to their chagrin. In an effort to get him to sleep in his own room, Chris' father says, "One more peep, young man, and I'm afraid we'll all be too tired to go next door tomorrow." That does the trick, since next door is where Chris will be able to watch the moon landing, and there's nothing more important to him than that. The epic 1969 event becomes a turning point in his life, since, "for the first time, Chris could see the power and mystery and velvety black beauty of the dark." Suddenly, the dark isn't so scary any more. The Fans' whimsical illustrations of nighttime scenes, in a dusky twilight palette, help illustrate Chris' fears as well as his excitement about the boundless possibilities of exploration in the dark. A warm and empowering story of triumph over fears. Closes with additional information about Hadfield's career as an astronaut.
Publishers Weekly
Canadian astronaut Hadfield and collaborator Fillion tell the story of young Chris, who loves space but can-t bear his own room once the lights are out. It-s 1969, and Chris-s parents tell him that if he can-t stay in his own bed, he won-t be able to go watch the moon landing on the neighbor-s TV the following evening. The moon landing is mind-boggling in itself, but something even more important catches Chris-s attention: -He-d never really noticed how dark it was there. Outer space was the darkest dark ever.- This new dark holds infinite promise, and it makes the ordinary dark of his bedroom less daunting. The Fan brothers (The Night Gardener) switch easily between fantasy elements (furry aliens with glowing eyes lurk in Chris-s bedroom) and documentary images (the snowy pictures of the moon landing on the neighbors- TV screen). The idea that a famous astronaut was once afraid of the dark may win some recalcitrant bed-goers- hearts, and readers with dreams of space travel will jump at this. Ages 4-8. Author-s agent: Rick Broadhead, Rick Broadhead & Associates. Illustrators- agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency. (Sept.)
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 skya 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
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (7/1/16)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (10/1/16)
Word Count: 578
Reading Level: 2.8
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 183085 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.2 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q69311
Lexile: AD550L
Guided Reading Level: L
Fountas & Pinnell: L

Inspired by the childhood of real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield and brought to life by Terry and Eric Fan's lush, evocative illustrations, The Darkest Dark will encourage readers to dream the impossible.

Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he's a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem--at night, Chris doesn't feel so brave. He's afraid of the dark.

But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is--and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company.

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