Stories of the Night

Not quite ready to go to sleep, Little Bear asks Mother Bear for three bedtime stories, and because Little Bear says ‘please’ three times, Mother Bear agrees. She gets out her favourite story book and shares the tale of the Night Guardian, the adventure of the little girl with the sword who gets lost, and the saga of the man in the big coat who never sleeps. Soon Little Bear is ready to nod off, comforted by Mother Bear’s patience, and inspired to dream about these special characters.

Stories of the Night is a collection of original tales by Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award–winner Kitty Crowther. After each tale we cut back to Little Bear asking Mother Bear questions about the story, creating a lovely connection between the book’s characters and the human children listening to their own parents read to them. It’s wonderful to see work in translation for this age group, allowing children to encounter characters and worlds that are somewhat familiar, but also wonderfully unpredictable.

This is a little gem of a book, and the illustrations are the star of the show. Crowther combines psychedelic colours with soft pencil lines, creating a dream-like landscape that is completely unique. The choice to represent a bright pink night sky is particularly stunning, bringing to mind the possibility that these stories are set on some cozy alien planet.