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Switch on the Night Paperback – September 14, 2004

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-A lonely child loses his fear of the night after a girl named Dark teaches him that the very same switches that turn off lights can turn on the Night, and with it the crickets, and frogs, and stars, and moon. Originally published in 1955 (with illustrations by Madeleine Gekiere), the story has an old-fashioned, impersonal air-the boy is never named; he looks out his window at "the other children"; his parents are "Mother and Father"-but also has that vivid sense of magic that infuses all of Bradbury's poetic writing. The illustrations enhance this otherworldly mood, combining simultaneous views from several directions and distances into single scenes; the effect is Escher-like, lit either in pale gold or luminous blue-green. A minor gem, visually appealing in art and design, strongly atmospheric, and founded on an ingenious strategy for coping with a common fear.
John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"[The] story has that vivid sense of magic that infuses all of Bradbury's poetic writing. The illustrations enhance this otherworldly mood. . . . [A] gem, visually appealing in art and design, strongly atmospheric, and founded on an ingenious strategy for coping with a common fear."
--School Library Journal


From the Hardcover Library Binding edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Dragonfly Books; Reprint edition (September 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553112449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553112443
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury, who died on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91, inspired generations of readers to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time. His groundbreaking works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He wrote the screen play for John Huston's classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television's The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree. He was the recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, among many honors.

Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, "Live forever!" Bradbury later said, "I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ray Bradbury is not often thought of as a writer of horror stories, although certainly the idea of living in a world where firemen were the people who burned books would be just about the most horrific thing a writer could imagine. But E.C. comics like "Tales of the Crypt" were doing version of his horror tales, so he certainly has the credentials in that field. What makes "Switch on the Night" unusual is that it is the only picture book for very young children written by Bradbury. While it is not exactly a horror story, it is certainly based on a basic theme in horror, being afraid of the dark. However, what Bradbury does with that theme is simply magic.

We begin with the declaration, "Once there was a little boy who didn't like the night." What he liked were lanterns and lamps, torches and tapers, and basically anything that created light. So he never went outside at night, although from his window he could see the other children playing on their lawns on summer nights. At night, he slept in the only room in town with a light on: he did not like light switches, because they switched off the light, and he never switched off the light. But then comes the night when his parents were away and the boy turned on every light in the house to keep away the night. Then there came a knock at the door and there was a young girl who said her name was Dark, and who told the little boy that she would introduce him to the Night so that they could be friends.

Needless to say, if you have a child who is afraid of the dark, this book can help them get over it (I bet some parents will read the book and instead of passing it along to their child will simply follow Dark's lead and play it out for real).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A delightful journey with a young, lonely boy who lives only in the light because of his fear of the dark. He meets a young girl that shows him the beauty and magic of the dark, along with all the creatures that live in the dark. He learns that he has a choice to 'turn on' the light or the dark.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Menolly on February 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a child I was always terrified of the dark. I know it is a very common problem with children but I believe my case was a little more serious. To this day I have to sleep with the lights on if I'm alone and even when someone is with me I still get goosebumps. I wish I had this book when I was a kid to help me realize there is nothing to be afraid of. Beautiful illustrations and anything by Ray Bradbury is sure to please.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Speaks on June 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i bought this for my daughter angelina. the illustrations are excellent and the story is exceptional. i enjoy reading this to her. i recommend this for all parents.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book to use with your students for a writing activity! After reading it aloud to your class, discuss fun things they can do in the night. Then, let them write their nighttime story on black paper with silver gel pens! Have them illustrate their story too! Pictures of fireflies, frogs, crickets, stars, the moon, etc... Display the writings on a bulletin board that says, "We Switched on the Night!" Ray Bradbury did an awesome job with this picture book!
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By C. Krupica on October 18, 2008
Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
We received this book as a gift for our baby when she was three months. I read other stories to her but THIS one is perfect. The story is wonderful, the narration flows beatifully, and the best part is that it is long (short) enough to fit in perfectly with our "nite-nite" routine. She's 16 months-old now and most nights we still read this story to her. I've read dozens of other stories but this one is by far my favorite.
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