Random House: Bringing You the Best in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children's Books
Newletters and Alerts

Buy now from Random House

See more online stores - Switch on the Night

Switch on the Night

Written by Ray BradburyAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Ray Bradbury
Illustrated by Leo DillonAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon, Ph.D.Author Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Diane Dillon, Ph.D.

Switch on the Night Cover

Share & Shelve:

  • Add This - Switch on the Night
  • Email this page - Switch on the Night
  • Print this page - Switch on the Night


A LONELY LITTLE boy who is scared of the dark sits in his room alone, with only light for company, until a little girl named Dark appears and shows him that light switches don’t just switch off the light—they switch on the night. And to switch on the night is to switch on the stars, the moon, the crickets, and the frogs. With the Dillons’ dreamlike illustrations, Switch on the Night is sure to reassure any child who has felt afraid of the unkown; the story will also impress adult readers with its imaginative approach to understanding that which is different.

“Bradbury’s story of a boy who conquers his fear of the night with the help of a child named Dark has been newly illustrated with appropriately mysterious, dramatic artwork, clearly influenced by M. C. Escher’s work.”—The Horn Book

“The Dillons’ interpretation works well intellectually and aesthetically.”—Booklist
Ray Bradbury|Leo Dillon

About Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury - Switch on the Night


Ray Bradbury is America's foremost writer of science fiction and fantasy. Among his most popular adult books are Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Death is a Lonely Business. In addition, he has written several books for children, including Switch on the Night. In recognition of his stature in the world of literature and the impact he has had on so many for so many years, Bradbury was awarded the National Book Foundation's 2000 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and the National Medal of Arts in 2004.

He lives in Los Angeles.

About Leo Dillon

Leo Dillon - Switch on the Night

Photo © Lee Dillon

What does an illustrator really do? Once we have the story most of the work is done, right?
Not exactly.

Our work begins when we choose a manuscript. We chose Patricia McKissick’s beautiful story Never Forgotten because of the message: the love of a father for his son, of family, and remembering “lost ones.”

After that, our first step is to mark up the manuscript to fit the number of pages the book will be, and identify the parts we feel are most important to illustrate. Then we decide what style and technique would best fit the story, as well as the time in which it takes place. For Never Forgotten, the African woodblock printing of fabric was our inspiration.

Next is research. Africans are known for their amazing ironwork. What did their kilns and tools look like?  Examples were difficult to find. While the author needs written information for research,  the artist needs images. Never Forgotten combines realism with fantasy. The art had to be believable, but the elements—air, water, fire, and earth—were left to our imaginations. It is our job to fill in between the lines, to show details the author didn’t have the space to tell. We must build that visual world. What are the characters wearing? What are their emotions? We pace the action and avoid repetition. If the main character is in the foreground, on the next page he might be farther back. What time of day is it? We can show that with color. Did the story take place in one day or over many days? These are some of the things we must think about.

The challenges and decisions we must make keep our job interesting and different with every book.

We hope we help the reader imagine the world between the first and last page and inspire them to love reading.


"[The] story has that vivid sense of magic that infuses all of Bradbury's poetic writing. The illustrations enhance this otherworldly mood. . . . [A] gem, visually appealing in art and design, strongly atmospheric, and founded on an ingenious strategy for coping with a common fear."
--School Library Journal

From the Hardcover Library Binding edition.

Your E-Mail Address
send me a copy

Recipient's E-Mail Address
(multiple addresses may be separated by commas)

A personal message: