A Clever Tale of Trust: Knocks in the Night by Tilde Michels

When it comes to picking out books for my little one, there is so much to choose from. He has all types of books in his collection. I particularly appreciate coming across a book that I may have read when I was a kid, so I can share what I loved about it with my own child. Even just finding one that offers the look and feel of a timeless classic is nice, because it still allows him to get a glimpse of the type of books I read when I was his age. Knocks in the Night is a new one that we've been reading, and I find that it fits appropriately into this category.

One snowy night, Peter is fast asleep in his cozy house when he hears knocking at his door. During the storm he has three visitors, but when he wakes the next morning, they are all gone. Was it just a dream? A clever tale of trust with a twist! With charming watercolor illustrations throughout, the story has a serious side but shows a lighter humorous side as well.

Tilde Michels was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1920. She studied foreign languages in Hamburg and Munich, and began her career as a foreign correspondent in France and England. Her first attempt at creative writing was a fairy tale for the Neue Zeitung, for which she was commissioned to write the text for a picture book. The result was Karlines Ente (Karline’s Duck) with pictures by L Fromm. Michels continued to work as a freelance author and translator, and lived with her family in Munich until she died in October 2012.

When I first received the book, it reminded me of several that I had owned when I was a little girl. Perhaps it was the outside appearance. The book has a sturdy hard cover that is enclosed in red fabric. I remember having quite a few fabric covered books when I was young. The funny thing is, I came across another book from 1986 by the same author called Who's that Knocking on My Door. I do believe it is the same story, only the one I hold here today is an updated version. I like that it still has the overall impression of a book made in the 80's, because it offers that feeling of nostalgia.

The story does not disappoint and is rather charming. Peter is sleeping in his house on a stormy blizzard night when he receives multiple visits from the unlikeliest of creatures. In everyday life each one of these creatures would not get along, but all of them know that they need to come in out of the cold to survive. Peter sees to it that each one remains safe by making them keep a promise to not hurt each other. Each one agrees to their promise. When morning arrives, Peter finds himself alone and is almost certain that he was dreaming the whole time...or was he?

After reading Knocks in the Night, I'm convinced that this is a tale that each child should have in their own collection. It offers a classic feel with beautiful illustrations that bring me back to when I was young. The rhyming prose makes it particularly nice for younger children. My own son enjoyed it as I read it to him. The story shows how different walks of life can come together as a united group in times of need. It also offers a nice demonstration on the importance of trust (to trust and to be trustworthy).

Knocks in the Night is estimated to release in December 2016, but can be pre-ordered on Amazon: