Flashlight Night is an ode to the power of imagination and the wonder of books. Three children use a flashlight to light a path around their backyard at night; in the flashlight’s beam another world looms. Our heroes encounter spooky woods, a fearsome tiger, a time-forgotten tomb, an Egyptian god, a sword-fighting pirate, and a giant squid. With ingenuity, they vanquish all, then return to their tree house—braver, closer, and wiser than before—to read the books that inspired their adventure.
...to no sound at all."
Whatever is lit by the flashlight becomes something else in the children’s imagination! What does the cat turn into? What does the pool turn into? What about the beach ball? The teddy bear?
What happens when the giant squid (the Kraken) is scared by the giant bear? (Hint: look underneath the squid!)
What does the pirate leave behind in the tree house?
If you could go on an adventure, where would you go?
Delightfully clever illustrations simultaneously show “reality” in the dark of the night and the world of the children’s imagination as illuminated by the flashlight in a way that highlights the power and joy of reading!
As a Vermont and New Hampshire radio broadcaster, Matt Forrest Esenwine spent a good part of his time writing and producing commercials and comedy bits. He also wrote poetry, which was published in various national journals and anthologies including the Donald Hall tribute, “Except for Love” (Encircle, 2019).
Little did Matt know all this short-form writing would lead to his debut picture book, “Flashlight Night” (Boyds Mills & Kane, 2017), which received numerous positive reviews including a Kirkus star, and was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the Best Books for Kids 2017. Other picture books include “Don’t Ask a Dinosaur” (POW! Kids, 2018), co-authored with Deborah Bruss, “Once Upon Another Time” (Beaming Books, 2021), co-authored with Charles Ghigna, and others.
Meanwhile, his children’s poetry can be found in anthologies like “The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry” (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2015), “Construction People” (Wordsong, 2019) and ‘Highlights for Children’ magazine. Feel free to connect with Matt at www.MattForrest.com.
“Newcomer Esenwine’s balladic verse and Koehler’s sturdily drafted pencil drawings don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play.”
★”The contrast between darkness and the area illuminated by a flashlight fascinates children, but this title kicks the fun up a notch . . . The modest swimming pool inspires a pirate escapade; a rope ladder links to a hot air balloon rescue. The delicious language and ingenious metamorphoses, rendered in pencil and colored digitally, are tied directly to classic books stacked near the sleeping bags. A rousing read.”
“On any dark night, a flashlight illuminating shadows can create delicious thrills. Here, . . . (i)t’s an old-fashioned, rip-roaring imaginary adventure, complete with a pirate, an ancient Egyptian chamber, and traveling to a ‘foreign shore.’’’
“A flashlight becomes a gateway to a whole new world in this imaginative . . . book. Each double-page spread grows more fantastical . . . Despite the excitement, the gentle rhyming text will wind young listeners down and help prepare them for dreamland adventures of their own.”
“Digitally colored pencil drawings cleverly depict what’s really in the kids’ surroundings while also showing what they are imagining . . . a simple idea that’s engagingly executed and would be an excellent, atmospheric read for sleepovers or backyard campouts.”
“The creative illustrations make the story come alive by using a beam of light to highlight the imaginary parts . . . This picture book, reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are, encourages children to find adventures in a boundless world through reading.”