Title: The Night Box
Author: Louise Greig
Illustrator: Ashling Lindsay
Publisher: Egmont.
RRP: $19.99 (AUD)

Max is called inside as the day comes to an end. As he gets ready for bed, other animals are waking, waiting for the night to come. Max unlocks his Night Box and out rushes Night before Day slips in. Night animals venture out while others, like Max, get ready to sleep. And the next morning, when it is time, Max goes back to his box, for Night to fall in and Day to slip out.

This poetic picturebook makes use of personification to share the cycle of night to day, day to night. The wordy verbal text is perfect. Usually, quality picturebooks have sparse verbal text, allowing the visuals to do the work in collaboration. The verbal text in The Night Box is rich and long, and works beautifully with the visuals. This is a different experience for me, and one I really enjoy. Sharing this with a young reader would enrich their language immensely. The personification and descriptive language is well worked and beautifully written.

The illustrations use a variety of angles and viewpoints in mostly borderless double page spreads. Colour is also important, as day becomes night, and then day returns. The boy’s bright red hair ensures he is easily spotted in the illustrations.

This picturebook would make a lovely read aloud, for a group of children or for a lap read with a special little one. It is the absolutely perfect bedtime story, soft and lulling. The use of language and the illustrations, with different animals, will allow for much discussion and will probably require repeated readings. This book will also help those little ones afraid of the dark, by giving it a caring and likeable nature. It would be useful in the classroom when studying poetic devices, such a personification.

This book is beautiful. Highly recommended.

Many thanks to Hardie Grant Publishing for sending this book for review.