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The Dark and the Light

Illustrated by Julie Völk
Published by NorthSouth Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

In the land of darkness lives a shaggy but lovable creature.

He is pining away because he has lost his home and has lived in the dark ever since. One day, the shaggy creature is overcome with curiosity and ventures out to the edge of the darkness. There, bathed in sunlight and bright colors, lives a very different and gentle creature.

The two inhabitants of these different world become friends, and with his new friend, the shaggy creature overcomes his loss and finds his way back to the world of color.

A quietly poetic story, told by Kerstin Hau, which gives hope and courage in difficult times. With contrasting imagery by Julie Völk, this book shows that life can be light, colorful, black, grey, and everything in between.

About The Author

Kerstin Hau was born in Darmstadt, Germany, where she works as an author and specialist journalist. She graduated in physiotherapy, also studied media system design and specialized journalism, and later obtained a degree at the Akademie für Kindermedien (Children’s Media). Since 2015 she has devoted herself mainly to writing for children and adults, and she hopes that her stories will touch the hearts of young and old and enrich their lives.

About The Illustrator

Julie Völk lives and works in Vienna, Austria. Her pictures tell stories about growing up, strange meetings, and unusual aspects of life; and her clear, delicate style combines realism with fantasy, which gives her illustrations a highly original atmosphere. In 2018 she was named an IBBY Honored Illustrator.

Product Details

  • Publisher: NorthSouth Books (September 3, 2019)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780735843851
  • Grades: P - 2
  • Ages: 4 - 8

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Raves and Reviews

This moving picture book offers many metaphors and connections, allowing young readers to see how friends help us navigate happy and sad times, worlds of darkness and light manageable only with a lantern of friendship to light the way. An unusual, tender, and emotional journey in and out of the shadows.

– Kirkus Reviews

Hau expertly expands a familiar metaphor for sadness and houses it in the surreal... A pensive and affecting story about how togetherness emboldens tired spirits, especially in the darkest corners.

– Publishers Weekly

Volk’s unique and visually appealing illustrations use solar paper to achieve the vivid hues of blue in Shaggy’s world...beautifully illustrated...

– School Library Journal

"This story has many themes, one being friendship with someone who looks different. It also communicates a theme of hope in adjusting to new ways of living."

– Susan Corapi,  Trinity Western University

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