In Out of a Dark Winter’s Night, illustrator and author Flora McDonnell tells the story of a small child whose spirit of adventure is dampened when the day ends and gives way to night. Taking their wheelbarrow, they set out on a mission to stop the sun from setting again, joined along the way by a charming collection of animal friends. But when darkness falls and worst comes to worst, it is hope that eventually carries them back home, where as day follows night the dawn breaks again
A response to calls for books that help children and families understand mental health issues, Out of a Dark Winter’s Night is a gentle expression of McDonnell’s firsthand experience with anxiety and depression that is empathetic and poetic, to allow room for multiple interpretations and responses.
McDonnell has said of the book, ‘This is my autobiography. A journey since childhood to harness the sun and stop the darkness of the night, which I think has to be abandoned in the end. With a helping hand, I have learnt that if I turn around and face the darkness, no matter how painful, in the end I will see the sun rise … The book is intended to give courage to any child or adult who feels they are stuck in the darkness of a winter’s night.’