Beatrice Likes the Dark

In this deeply whimsical and dazzlingly illustrated picture book, two sisters with opposite interests love each other despite their different personalities.

White-blonde Beatrice enjoys "scurry[ing] into dark corners" like the spiders in the attic, while her straw-blonde sister, Roo, "likes sunshine and birthday parties and smashing crashing blasting noises." For Beatrice, Roo's love of "wearing pink and red and purple" is confounding, and Roo doesn't understand the "black clothes with little bats on them" that her sister wears. The sisters fall asleep glaring at each other across their shared bed. Yet both also dream of togetherness--Beatrice of "two sisters watching fireflies," Roo of "two sisters squeezing lemons for lemonade." When Roo pleads with Beatrice not to leave her alone in the "dark dark dark," the two join hands and each learns how the other sees the world.

April Genevieve Tucholke (The Boneless Mercies) crafts a charming story infused with an air of mysticism--of "milky moonbeams" and potions and songs. The art of Khoa Le (Sugar in Milk) elegantly contrasts and connects the sisters at once. Deeper palettes represent Beatrice's beloved black barn cats and "sleek black ravens"; brighter tones and white backgrounds highlight Roo's "fairy-tale button path" and yellow marbles. Color also ties the girls together. The red of their matching pillowcases appears in Beatrice's "shimmering crimson beetles," garden shovel and picnic basket as well as in Roo's checkered dress, "sun-warm strawberries" and "rosy-cheeked apples." Beatrice Likes the Dark is a "wild, windy," "fierce" and "silvery" piece of art. --Samantha Zaboski, freelance editor and reviewer

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