Friday, 7 October 2016
The Darkest Dark is a children's story book about a little boy who is afraid of the dark...I think it is also probably very true to the childhood experiences of its author, the astronaut, Chris Hadfield.
Little Chris has an active imagination - he dreams about being an astronaut, exploring far off planets and hunting for aliens. But young Chris is terrified of the dark and won't settle in his own room at night for fear of aliens and the deep dark depths of the night. On the night that he and his family watch the televised moon landings of Apollo 11, Chris realises that in space there is a type of darkness much darker than he is used to in his own bedroom. And that is when he decides he wants to be an astronaut, not just dream about them.
This book held particular fascination for Lara because she was interested to know that Commander Chris Hadfield is a genuine US astronaut. Lara enjoyed reading the material at the back of the book about Chris Hadfield's space career and looking at the photos of him as a boy, a young man, and in space. It really brought life to the story to know it was based on a real person.
This is a great story for any budding young astronauts or for children who are struggling to cope with the dark themselves. I think the moon landings needed a little bit of an explanation to Lara and Holly who didn't really grasp the weight of such an occasion and how it might impact someone's life.
I'm not sure that the text of the story itself has grasped either of my girls' imaginations - they remember the story but not necessarily the way in which it was told.