Ning and the Night Spirits

Ning and the Night Spirits
Adriena Fong
Flying Eye Books

Ning, a quiet boy, lives in a little town in a lush valley at the edge of a forest. Each evening he helps his parents light lanterns to ward off the night spirits. Ning wants to know if the spirits really are scary but he’s unable to ask the other children as he finds making friends as scary, or more so, than any spirit he could imagine.

Bothered by his parents’ reaction to his lack of friends, Ning creeps out of the back door one night and into the forest 

where he finds himself face to face with a night spirit, a creature that looks anything but scary. Indeed Ning realises it’s the creature that is scared of him. The two quickly become friends and the cute little creature shows him the wonderful forest animals and the secret world of the night spirits. Ning discovers that rather than being scary, the spirits are scared, scared of the bright flames of the townsfolks’ lanterns that hurt their eyes, causing them to take refuge in the forest.

The boy knows that he must try and help his new spirit friends, but to do so he needs to find the courage to speak to the other children and enlist their help. Can he do that? Back home he works on a plan …

Adrian Fong has created a magical world in a far eastern setting for her debut picture book that tells a story about friendship, gaining the confidence to confront your fears and not making prejudgements about others. When you share the book with young children at home or in school, take time to look closely at the illustrations of the inside of Ning’s home and the parade through the town, they’re rich in cultural detail.

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