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

    steven1111 said,

    It’s great to see such deep subjects explored in a “children’s ” book. I think they often understand these things better than we adult do because they’re not yet conditioned to a response. Thanks for liking my posts and for sharing this book with us. You sound like you’ve maintained your child like wonder for all things in the world yourself. It’s cool to see.

  2. 2

    landacrystal said,

    Just one word … AWESOME !
    Felt so identified

  3. 3

    alycevayle said,

    What an intersting book! I agree – I wish I had been read something like this as a little kid – thanks!

  4. 4

    Alison said,

    Wow, I had forgotten all about this book. I read it years ago when wandering around my college’s library looking for inspiration on my final design project. That was when I thought I would never have kids, and reflecting on it, it’s probably one of the many small things that made me wonder if having one wouldn’t be pretty swell after all. (Another was The Time Traveler’s Wife.)

  5. 5

    amberisonfire said,

    Thank you! This book seems to be exactly the kind of book I’ve been looking for, for my son.

  6. 6

    Posky said,

    I had been working on illustrating a children’s book for a while now and sort of wondered if anyone would ever publish a book done entirely ink black and white ink. Now I know.

    I’ll probably snag this one from a library to read.

  7. 7

    maguire522 said,

    great stories – makes you wanna be a kid again

  8. 8

    Such perfect timing for me to read this and find this book for my son. Thank you.

  9. 9

    I love your site, thanks so much for introducing me to some new and beautiful books for children.

  10. 10

    I’m so glad I’ve been introduced to your site – this book looks perfect for both of my kids (and maybe me).


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