Review: Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett

Posted January 28, 2024 by Richetta in Book Reviews, Children's Books / 0 Comments

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I received this book for free from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Review: Orion and the Dark by Emma YarlettOrion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett
Published by National Geographic Books on March 24, 2015
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Action & Adventure / General, Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings, Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Friendship
Pages: 40
Format: Hardcover
Source: Candlewick Press
Buy on Bookshop

Orion is very scared of the dark—until Dark decides to pay him a visit!

Orion is scared of a lot of things, but most of all he’s scared of the dark. So one night the Dark decides to take Orion on an adventure. Emma Yarlett’s second picture book combines her incredible storytelling and artwork with die-cut pages that bring the Dark to life.

book cover of Orion and the Dark

Before it hits Netflix, check out the book! Orion and the Dark is a smartly illustrated book that explores a child’s fear of the dark. The illustrations look like the inside of Orion’s notebook as he describes the reasons why he is afraid of the dark. But all of his musings are interrupted one evening when The Dark appears in front of him as a being. The Dark proceeds to show Orion all of the ways that the dark can be fun, interesting and entertaining.

Fear of the Dark

This is a great book to read with children who may be afraid or apprehensive of the dark. It will help them expand their perspective to see more than just their fear. It will also help them dispel the myths that their imaginations have created.

One example, is when The Dark takes Orion on a tour of all of the sounds that Orion had categorized as frightening. The Dark shows Orion what they really are so that his fear goes away. A great post-reading activity would be to help your child brainstorm things that might lessen their fear.


I loved the unique, journal-style illustrations in this book! The surprise cutout was fun for my kids too! Plus the depiction of The Dark is amazing as a starlit night sky, which ties to Orion’s name. The starry depiction of The Dark helps flip the perspective of darkness from negative to positive for readers.

Coming Soon to Netflix

Orion and the Dark will soon be a Netflix show. It looks like Orion will be portrayed as a little older than in the book. But if your child or student liked this book, then they will definitely want to check out the show.


Would I Read it Again: Yes! It’s a great re-read any time your child starts to feel afraid of the dark again.

Educator Recommendations: This is a great opportunity to talk about perspectives with children. In the book Orion really only has negative things to say about darkness. But The Dark proposes a long list of reasons why darkness can be fun and interesting. Children or their teacher can choose a topic and make a list of things they associate with it and discuss whether they would categorize those things as having positive or negative connotations. Then ask them if that is the whole picture or just one perspective. Then they can brainstorm associations that might help them expand their perspective of that topic.

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