The Night Knights
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Many children have irrational fears of the night and of darkness. The Night Knights takes a gung-ho approach to this problem. No child has ever been caught by an under-the-bed monster, the narrator tells the reader, and the reason for this is the Night Knights – a Tolkein-esque army of heavily armoured heroes who stand guard over children as they sleep.
The narration has the epic, dramatic quality of the epic fantasies it is inspired by, and the illustrations are rich with purple, violet and blue to conjure up the mysterious, magical nature of the night. The text is quite short, sometimes only five words per double spread, and the illustrations have great depth. The final message is that night-time is full of adventure, magic and dreams, but that children are always safe in their beds – because an unseen army defends them.
A child who is frightened of the dark could well benefit from having this book shared with them at bedtime, although there is always the possibility that the knights themselves might be frightening!