Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez. Nobrow, 2017. 9781910620137. 56pp.
Right from the title page it’s clear this book is going to be amazing. It and the facing dedications page have a few transparent bulbs that are home to cute cute and colorful plant creatures. The pictures seem to glow. Turn the page and there’s the girl, Sandy, drawing them and other creatures on her floor as her mother tells her to go to bed. There’s a ton of white space so that Alvarez controls exactly what we’re paying attention to. Turn the page again and it’s a beautifully colored graphic novel. Sandy’s mother doesn’t get her — she’s too busy worrying about her daughter’s homework to appreciate her drawings. Bedtime is time for her to float along with the creatures she imagines. And the next morning at Catholic school (complete with a scary nun) Sandy meets a new purple haired girl named Morphie, who loves her drawings. But Morphie is a ghost with a nasty plan for Sandy’s artistic talents.
The ghostly parts don’t go on too long, and they’re so beautifully drawn they won’t be too scary for most kids transitioning up and out of picture books. Anyone with a love of art or comics is going to love this one, too.