'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 4 June 2019

Review: Lights Out, Leonard

This book is laugh-out-loud funny. Leonard does not want the lights turned out when he goes to bed, like so many children. He is afraid of monsters in the dark. Leonard's fantastic imagination conjures up magnificent, multi-tentacled beasts deliciously described by author, Josh Pyke, an award-winning, Australian singer and songwriter whose gifts with word play are evident.

Chris Nixon's brightly coloured illustrations bring a contemporary feel to a timeless dilemma.

The animated illustrations show our young protagonist, always in his fox-suit pyjamas, displaying his fears each time his parents come in to turn out the lights, and his comfort when they understand and listen to him. The illustration style conveys emotions but the abstract nature creates a sense of distance between the reader and the creatures, working effectively to show how the creatures might be scary to Josh, but they are not frightening for the young readers.

The resolution in this story is clever, with unexpected hilarious details, and wholly satisfying. Lights Out, Leonard is highly recommended for young readers, especially anyone afraid of the dark.

Title: Lights Out, Leonard
Author: Josh Pyke
Illustrator: Chris Nixon
Publisher: Puffin Books, $19.99
Publication Date: 4 June 2019
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780143793489
For ages: 3-6
Type: Picture Book