Stars Only Shine in the Dark – THE DARKEST DARK by Chris Hadfield and Kate FiIllion. Illustrated by Terry and Eric Fan. Book Review.

 Click on the cover for more information or to buy a copy.

This picture book is written by Chris Hadfield, one of the, world’s most famous astronauts, and Kate Fillion a best selling author. Together they tell the true story of Chris’s childhood fear of the dark.

As a small boy, Chris love to play astronaut. He liked to pretend he was fighting deadly aliens, but his imagination created a fearful atmosphere when his room was dark. “The kind of dark that attracts the worst sort of aliens.”

His parents struggled to get him to sleep in his own bed. They even gave him a bell to ring if he was nervous. But nothing seemed to help.

One special day, Chris’s family joined several others watching the moon landing on television. Chris was amazed and he also noticed that outer space was darkest dark ever. That night, he was able to cope with his dark room. He became hooked on exploring the night sky. He seriously pursued his dream of becoming an astronaut and one day, it came true.

That is where the story ends. Fortunately, Hadfield has written two other books about his experiences as an astronaut. After reading this picture book, children can find more about Hadfield from these books or online.

What a wonderful twist for a little boy who is afraid of the dark to grow up and travel into space, in fact live there for five months. How inspirational for children who have similar fears. This book teaches them that as they grow and learn, they will change and be able to conquer the things that hold them back. How reassuring to know an astronaut was once afraid of the dark.

The vocabulary in this book is suitable for children ages 5 to 8. There is just the right amount of text on each page. Both the text and the illustrations are infused with a subtle sense of humor.

When it was time to get out of the bath and go to bed, he told his father – politely, because astronauts are always polite – “Sorry, no can do. I’m on my way to Mars.”

On the page where Chris dreamed he flew a spaceship to the moon, his rocket is made from cardboard, his dog is also suited up and floating beside him, and Chris carries a flag with pictures of the two of them and their names printed in childish script “Chris and Albert.”

Although the book is in color, gray and black are dominant throughout. At first, because of Chris’s imagination, the dark holds frightening creatures with glowing eyes. As Chris matures, those glowing eyes are replaced by twinkling stars and glowing galaxies.

The last two pages read as follows.

And, he realized, you’re never really alone there. (in the dark)

Your dreams are always with you, just waiting.

Big dreams, about the kind of person you want to be.

Wonderful dreams about the life you will live.

Dreams that actually can come true.

This is a well written, beautifully illustrated picture book that will teach your child about a brave, brilliant, and personable Canadian hero as well as inspire him or her to pursue big dreams.


I won a free copy of this book.

Click on the images for more information or to buy the product.

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages



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