I do not review books by request on this blog.
It’s just not something that I do. The books I post about are the ones that belong on my shelves, the ones that broke my heart and soothed my soul. These posts are about chronicling my own journey as a reader, highlighting the books that have moved me and built me, and offering my bookshelves to other readers searching for their own collections.
Not giving two stars to a book I only picked up because someone sent me an email.
And yet, the most amazing books can sometimes drop into your lap in the oddest of ways. An email or a short message can be exactly the relief that is needed in days with too much stress and too many hard things happening. For me, that is exactly what Ms. Simpson’s note was. So this time—this ONE time—I am making an exception to my rule, simply because this book touched my soul, and I wanted to share it with you.
Night Festival is a wordless picture book created by illustrator Michelle Simpson. It has not been released yet, but her Kickstarter for the project is located here, and I would highly, highly recommend going over to check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
I certainly wasn’t.
Ms. Simpson’s simple, yet incredibly creative illustrations are heartwarming and beautifully expressive, telling a story that will speak to the youngest child and the most cynical adult. When I read the book, I had just finished an especially difficult and nerve-wracking job interview and needed, more than anything in the world, an escape. A place to hide, a place to recover, and a place to find myself again.
Night Festival was that place for me. The magic in this sweet book, the beautiful imagery, and the story that will immediately reach out to anyone who has ever felt lost or displaced in unfamiliar surroundings captivated me, and helped so much to relieve some of the anxiety that comes from new job opportunities, new situations, and working really hard to smile and talk normally whilst still post-surgery swollen.
In other words, this book managed to work a miracle. For that, I am deeply grateful.
Night Festival is not Ms. Simpson’s only book, for those of you disappointed by its absence on the general market. She has another for sale here, called Monsters In My House, and while I have not read it yet (I fully intend to), it looks every bit as charming and sweet as Night Festival. May you enjoy her enchanting work as much as I have!