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Children's Fiction General

Singing The Dark

by (author) Gail Sproule

illustrated by Sheena Lott

Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Initial publish date
May 2006
General, Bedtime & Dreams, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2006
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3


A nightly routine becomes a gentle ritual in this special bedtime story.

When evening comes, a little girl asks her mother, Will you sing the dark tonight?"

With that request, mother and daughter begin a unique ritual. Nightgown is pulled on, teeth are brushed, face is washed and hair tangles are carefully smoothed. Then, hand in hand, mother and daughter go out into the garden to welcome the night. While crickets call out and dew falls, Mother sings a song to the coming dark. And as her daughter joins in, they watch the black night settle around them. At last the song is over and it's time for bed.

This enchanting story is an ideal bedtime book. The gently rhythmic text is matched by gorgeous watercolor paintings, filled with the delicate hues of an approaching night. The result is a story that should be a welcome addition to any bedtime routine."

About the authors

Gail Sproule is a busy mother of three children and an author of short fiction for adults. She lives on a farm near Cookstown, Ontario.

Gail Sproule's profile page

Sheena enjoys a very successful 20-year career as a professional artist.

She has illustrated 9 successful children's books including How Sleep Found Tabitha, Going To The Fair and the perennial bestseller, Jessie's Island. Salmon Forest, written by Dr David Suzuki and Sara Ellis was released last spring. She won The Science in Society National book award and has been short listed for the BC Book Prize as well as the Amelia Francis Illustrators Award. Sheena has been featured on CBC radio as well as CH television.

This busy artist is best known for her crisp, colourful watercolors and oils . She combines gallery exhibitions, children's book illustration, and private commissions. She has been invited to teach workshops on the new Queen Mary 2. She has been an Artist in Residence in many school districts and has toured for Canadian Children's Book Center Book Week.
Sheena has exhibited paintings at the Winchester Galleries, The Harrison Gallery in West Vancouver, Quan-Scheider Gallery, Toronto, Pegasus Gallery, The Chateau Whistler, Harbour Gallery, Washington US, and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria .
She has won many awards including the Myfanwy Pavelic Spencer Award. She is an Associate of The Federation Of Canadian Artists. Sheena has been featured on CBC radio as well as CH television.

Sheena has participated in many exhibitions across Canada and in the US. Her work can be found in corporate and private collections throughout the world including: Shell Oil, Chapters Canada, The National Trust Corporation, and the Vancouver Public Library.

She works from her home studio in Sidney on Vancouver Island BC. Her website is

Sheena is available to do watercolour workshops [all materials provided] and lecture/presentations on the process of children's book illustration. Please contact the artist at for more info and fee schedule.

Sheena Lott's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Lott's dreamy watercolour paintings are brimming with the soft hues of night falling. And Sproule's delicate, poetic words paint pictures of their own, with the two complementing each other to create a seamless song. Singing the Dark is a warm, enveloping cuddle between the covers of a book."
The Hamilton Spectator

"A slow moving, beautifully illustrated and achieve the desired effect of lulling the young listener into a sleep-ready state."
The Times-Colonist, Victoria

"Beautifully rendered watercolor paintings and a poetic text give readers an insider's view of a special mother-daughter bedtime ritual. . . Warmly reassuring in both concept and execution, this bedtime story will hold its own in a crowded field."
School Library Journal

"The sweet, lyrical text is brought to life by Lott's lovely, flowing watercolors. Light-streaked sunsets, shadowy garden scenes, and inky moonlit spreads show the passage of time and create a soothing, gentle atmosphere in which mother and daughter play out their special nighttime ritual. A charming addition to any bedtime story collection."

"Gail Sproule's text is poetic and the language rich. The child's ceaseless fascination with the cycle of the day is the inspiration for this title. The story celebrates the parent-child relationship and the magical relationship between Mother Nature and humans. Sheena Lott's watercolours are exquisite, and the mixture of warm, vivid colours and cool, muted colours are perfect matches for the text."
CM Magazine

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