A Spark in the Dark, written and illustrated by Pam Fong

This is a beautiful book about light and dark. The story features a little orange fish who gets lost in the dark of the sea. The story relays that “The dark can make you feel lost, angry, or sad. But even in the dark dark dark light can bloom.” The little fish sees a radiant creature that might look strange, but lights up the dark. The orange fish finds its way back to the light by following “the spark” of the unfamiliar animal. A person can get inspiration from gloomy situations.

The story is about how you might get lost, but you should continue to search for the “light” and find your way back to the glow. Life can be a struggle with so many dismal things that happen. You might think you cannot see your way out of the gloom of life; however, the book ends with the wise thought of “You need light to move through the dark. But sometimes you need the dark to see the light.”

The message of the book is simple and powerful. Don’t give up, keep going towards the light. You can learn even in the dark. Wonderful picture book with a powerful point.

Luminous: Living Things That Light Up the Night, Written and illustrated by Julia Kuo

This book is a wonderful story about the science of bioluminescence. A mother tells her child that there are many creatures that make their own light using chemical reactions inside themselves especially organisms in the ocean. She explains that there are creatures like Vampire squid and Anglerfish that create their own lights in dark waters. Sometimes, these animals use their lights to get away from predators or they use their lights to attract smaller fish so they can eat them.

A person might not be able to see anything in the dark, but there are organisms that can make light in the forest. Some insects like fireflies can light up the sky with their bioluminescence. Also there are fungi in the woods that produce light.

We live in an extremely remarkable world. The mom reminds her young child that we should “always look, really look when it’s dark out.” There are many creatures making light that we might not notice at first. Beautiful fish and clams are glowing in dark waters. Kuo draws fascinating pictures of creatures that bring light to the world.

This is an interesting picture book for parents to use to get their young readers to learn about some of the wonders of our world.

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