One of the interesting pieces of In the Dark is that it is not what it seems. And once you go farther into Kate Hoefler’s book than the cover you see that. The idea is that two voices are saying how “bad” the other is, due to their differences and the lack of knowledge by the other party. But if you watch closely, you see that things are not always dark, especially with the forest, which we are told the “witches” live. And as we see the text of the Village (the ones who think the witches are of the forest, tht they are the reasons for the problems), the voice of a child of the forest shows the same act and its true to life meaning and action.
Read as an online reader copy, this due late August/early September 2023 picture book will be an interesting read for the right reader. It takes the idea of “different” and our snap judgment of that and gives it a new pathway to take. Things are a bit forward, and no real question what is being said, but still a nice message.
Corinna Luyken’s illustrations are lush, and while simple are far from simplistic. They are both lovely and perfect to try and give off the “dark/bad” side of things, but as you see both sides simultaneously, you know the real story. Little color is used, but what we have in the artwork are well placed and important. They allow the story to be the focus and not to take away from it, yet still allowing the art to have its moment as well.