James, Betsy. Flashlight. Illustrated by Stacey Schuett. Book review.

Marie is sleeping with her sister on the couch in her grandparents home. Mom and Dad are far away, down the hall. Everything seems dark and unfamiliar. When she makes an anxious sound, her grandpa brings her a flashlight. She investigates the darkness bit by bit, dispelling all the fears aroused by the mysterious shapes. When she calls, her grandfather comes again to reassure. The light empowers her and Marie finally turns off the flashlight and whispers a comforting word to her little sister.

The story line made a lot more sense to me than The Dark by Lemony Snicket. The sense of love and acceptance from the grandfather was lovely.

The illustrations are beautiful. The flashlight makes things glow. And especially wonderful illustration is on the page where the girl says, “I can cover with one hand. Watch! The flashlights warm. Fire close right through my bones. I can go into dark places, shining.”



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