A Spark in the Dark

by Pam Fong

On Sale: 11/01/2022

A Spark in the Dark

by Pam Fong

illustrated by Pam Fong

On Sale: 11/01/2022


Children’s Book Council’s Children’s Favorites Award

About the Book

A powerful picture book about the ocean of feelings inside all of us.

Whether you are mad, sad, scared, or lost in the dark, there’s always hope—a spark of light to lead you back home. A Spark in the Dark is a book to read aloud, a book to share, and a book to return to whenever you need it.

There is light, and there is dark. But sometimes the dark creeps up and surrounds you. Still, even in those deep, dark moments, you can always find a spark of light, if you look. Because while you need light to find your way through the dark, you also need dark to see the light.

Author-artist Pam Fong’s gentle text and luminous artwork guide readers through the dangers and marvels of the deep sea with an expressive little fish who must find its way home. A lush and moving picture book that gives young readers—and their parents—a way to think about and talk about the wide ocean of emotions that everyone feels.

A Spark in the Dark is an exceptional choice for social and emotional learning that belongs on shelves beside Cori Doerrfeld’s The Rabbit Listened, Dan Santat’s After the Fall, and Aliki's Feelings.

Critical Praise

“A tiny fish, utterly lost in the deep, dark sea . . . delivers a profound lesson for children and adults alike. . . . The dark ocean closes around the fish, leaving it with a swirl of emotions: fear, anger, confusion, and sadness. The full-color artwork, done in watercolors, powerfully conveys the blue-black isolation of the ocean, punctuated by sparks of light . . . But the text reminds us, these lights can go off and may lead in the wrong direction, advising us to keep searching, and assuring that eventually a ‘spark’ will show us the way back.” — Booklist (starred review)

“An exploration of light and darkness featuring a little orange fish. . . . The text—often white against the deep blues of the ocean—reassuringly notes that the darkness can make us feel frightened, lost, or angry, and many children will enjoy the comical expressions on the fish’s face. Art, layout, and text create a soothing and often humorous mood.” — Kirkus Reviews

“On one level, this is the story of a little orange fish who swims too far down into the inky blackness of the ocean, becomes lost and disoriented but perseveres, and eventually makes it back up to the ‘warm and welcoming’ sunlight zone. Below the surface, though . . . [this] is a comforting meditation on coping with adversity and not giving in to despair. . . . The immensely satisfying ending comes full circle, back above the water under a star-filled sky.” — Horn Book Magazine


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063136533
  • ISBN 10: 0063136538
  • Imprint: Greenwillow Books
  • On Sale: 11/01/2022
  • Pages: 32
  • List Price:21.99 CAD
  • Ages: 4 to 8
  • BISAC1 : JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Fishes
  • BISAC2 : JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings
  • BISAC3 : JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Depression & Mental Illness
  • BISAC4 : JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
  • BISAC5 : JUVENILE FICTION: Health & Daily Living / Mental Health

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