Grandfather Twilight

Cover

Written and Illustrated by Barbara Berger

Philomel Books, 1984

Grandfather Twilight lives among the trees.

The plot in a nutshell: Details of the ritual of twilight and the nightly delivery of the moon.

Grandfather Twilight has the same routine each day. When he finishes reading, he puts on his jacket and takes one pearl from the endless strand in the big wooden chest. Then he goes for a walk and as he walks, the pearl grows larger and the animals around him quiet down. He walks to the seashore, leaving the night sky behind him. Then he gives the pearl to the sky above the ocean, where it shines brightly. Then he goes home again and goes to sleep.

This was the first book from author/illustrator Barbara Berger (who is now publishing under the name Barbara Helen Berger) and it’s still a favorite among her readers. It’s a very simple story, told in just a few easy to read sentences, with the pictures carrying most of the action. It’s also a very calming story that reads like a legend or myth that’s been passed down over generations and I imagine that it’s an ideal bedtime book, especially considering it ends with the words, ‘Good night.’

Putting out the moon

I hope that dog doesn’t chase after that ball when he throws it.

The illustrations, done in acrylic paint, are as calming and tranquil as the story, showing Grandfather Twilight to be a charming old man who seems to be made out of the evening sky. He’s accompanied by a cat and dog, who are asleep together in the final picture, adding to reasons to put this book last in your bedtime reading lineup. (I could barely read it to myself without yawning.)

And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that every day, no matter whether it has been a good day or a bad day, ends when the moon is in the sky.

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