Every night, tiny stars appear out of the darkness in little Sandy's bedroom. She catches them and creates wonderful creatures to play with until she falls asleep, and in the morning brings them back to life in the whimsical drawings that cover her room.
One day, Morfie, a mysterious pale girl, appears at school. And she knows all about Sandy's drawings...
Nightlights is a beautiful story about fear, insecurity, and creativity, from the enchanting imagination of Lorena Alvarez.
Gr 4 Up-At Sandy's parochial school, her talent for daydreaming, doodling, and wandering doesn't endear her to the strict nuns, whose assignments the girl does her best to avoid. A bit of an outsider, Sandy is delighted when she meets a new friend, a strange, pale girl who gushes over her incredible artwork. As the protagonist's flights of fancy begin to merge with reality, she must save herself and the drawings she cherishes. The balanced, muted hues of Sandy's real world contrast dramatically with the lush colors of her hand-drawn fantasies. Alvarez's artwork is gorgeous, alternating between traditional panels and, in the dream sequences, vibrant spreads that spill from page to page with grace and fluidity. Reminiscent of the charming, cheeky protagonist of Luke Pearson's "Hilda" books, Sandy is a rosy-cheeked, pigtailed delight, solving her problems with cunning and-coolest of all-math. Readers will want to pore over this book and its many picturesque details again and again. Perhaps those who frequently find themselves with their heads in the clouds will see a little of themselves in Sandy, whose power to build new worlds will inspire others to make their own dreams come true. VERDICT How is this not on your shelf yet? Every library should have this gorgeous first purchase.-Abby Bussen, Muskego Public Library, WI © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
In a captivatingly eerie graphic novel from Colombian artist Alvarez, a young artist named Sandy finds the refuge of her imagination threatened by a mysterious interloper. For Sandy, it's easy to tap into a magical, Technicolor world of friendly, fantastical beasts-owls, giant octopi, tadpolelike creatures, and more-and those imaginings fuel her drawings. This changes when she befriends Morfie, a lavender-haired child who turns up at Sandy's Catholic school, which is run by strict nuns. Sandy's classmates don't notice Morfie, and when she later appears in Sandy's bedroom, she transforms into a sinister, spritelike creature. She begins to dictate how and what Sandy draws, raising uneasy questions about the way that critical opinions can influence an artist. "Once you realize that you need me to tell you... how brilliant you are... nothing will keep us apart!" the increasingly gruesome Morfie tells Sandy. Alvarez's haunting artwork features coiling plumes of lush colors and Miyazaki-esque beasts that create a sense of brooding melancholy. It's a deliciously hair-raising story that thoughtfully explores themes of isolation, creativity, and how social pressures can encroach on individuality. Ages 9-up.
Copyright 2017 Publisher’s Weekly, LLC Used with permission.