Nov 4, 2011
Singing Away the Dark
Singing Away the Dark by Caroline Woodward
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
When she was six, Caroline Woodward had to walk a mile in the dark and through the woods to get to her school bus stop. From this memory, she has written a beautiful story. On a windy winter's day, she leaves her house when it's still dark outside and heads downhill trekking through the snow. As she gets farther away from her home, she's frightened by the "creaks and groans and hoots and howls " that creep into her ears. But she has learned how to deal with those fears, she takes a breath and sings until the darkness disappears. "I sing for sun, I sing for strength, I sing for warm toes, too." She makes it to her school bus, ready to start the school day. "When I was six and walked a mile and sang the dark away."
Singing Away the Dark is a very special book, a lovely find. The illustrations are beautiful and find a perfect balance of darks and lights to create the feeling of walking in the dark through the white snow. I love the detail of the little cardinal that shows up in a couple of pages adding a splash of red over a white landscape. The text rhymes but never feels to be doing so intentionally, which is a great thing...it just has this lovely lyrical rhythm to it. A great read aloud for the classroom and a perfect text to use as a sample of exploding the moment when writing a memoir.