Stormy Night, a must have for every library.

Stormy Night

 

Picture Book (see page count)

Ages 8 and up

240 pages

By Michèle Lemieux

Kids Can Press

1996

 

The first time I read Stormy Night I was stunned. This was exactly the kind of book I wish I’d seen when I was a child, but one I still very much needed to see as an adult. The ideas raised and questions asked can sometimes be unnerving but the whimsical art is comforting and the overall tone is uplifting and encouraging. Profoundly addressing questions of self and the world around us, this book is a necessary reminder that we are never alone.

Stormy Night is not a typical picture book in format or content. It’s two hundred and forty pages long and 5.75 by 8.5 inches, an unconventional trim size. The text is sparse and largely philosophical, interspersing unanswerable questions with expressions of delight, despair, confusion and curiosity.

Beautifully rendered in black and white, the art perfectly complements the text in mood and tone. Some illustrations are full spreads, saturating the reader’s feelings. Other illustrations convey the enormity of life with only a small, understated line drawing.

The book opens with a storm brewing outside; inside a young girl is getting ready for bed. Her dog is by her side. The first text appears several pages in:

“I can’t sleep! Too many questions are buzzing through my head.”

 

The young girl, lying awake in her bed, ponders questions of science, of self and of life.

 

“Where do we come from?”

 

“Who am I?”

 

“Sometimes I feel like I don’t fit in my body!”

 

She expresses feelings of joy, sadness, anger and uncertainty.

 

“I’d like to be able to do things no one else can do…”

 

“What exactly is fate?”

 

At the closing of this book our young thinker, finally able to sleep, curls up with her dog and a new and beautiful day dawns outside.

 

This perfect little package of a book is an absolute treasure and a must have for every library. It offers comfort to children, and reassurance to adults, that we are not alone—that the questions and feelings swirling around in our heads are normal, natural and universal.

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29 Responses so far

  1. 1

    I must have this book for my grandson! He is four but acts like he is much older {most of the time!} These are the questions he ponders already! I am so glad I came to visit!

  2. 2

    cramercare said,

    This is so beautiful. I wish I had had this book as a child. You also presented it so well! This is a beautiful blog.

  3. 3

    chinaheather said,

    So glad you posted this! I would have loved that book as a child too, I was a deep thinker and didn’t have anywhere to explore those thoughts. I now have a 6 year old son who is just the same. He wants to have long conversations about science and death and the universe. For kids like that/me it isn’t dark, it’s a relief that the already murky ponderings are understood and are also experienced by others. Thank you!

  4. 5

    farmfreshfoodie said,

    What a great book to teach the comprehension strategy of asking deep questions (and seeking answers) as you read. I’m a reading teacher, and can’t believe I didn’t know this book existed. Thanks for introducing me to it!

  5. 6

    For what age child would you recommend this?


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