When Ant sees a fish that shines as brightly as a star, he wants to keep it. He catches it in a net and takes it home. Its glow fills his room and he is happy. But the nighfish starts to fade, and Ant doesn’t understand – perhaps the nightfish is hungry?
As Ant tries to figure out a way to keep the nightfish happy, funny things happen in his town – first the streetlights disappear, then the lighthouse. The creatures of the deep need their light. Ant has to make a decision.
The Nightfish is a stunningly illustrated picture book which, whilst being presented as a whimsical fantasy, also has a message about conservation. Ant has to accept the consequences of keeping the nightfish (or lightfish as the sea creatures call it) to himself.
In this her first picture book McCosker has used has used her lifetime of illustration work to wonderful effect. The colours of the sea – teals and aquas in the day, and rich blues, purples and greens in the night – as well as the detail of each illustration make each spread as unique as it is absorbing.
Nightfish is a beautiful offering.
Nightfish, written and illustrated by Helen McCosker
The Five Mile Press, 2006