Veronika Spackova

, Independent Usborne Organiser


Book of the Month - I'm not (very) afraid of the dark

1st September 2019

When the sun goes down, the dark stretches out. It gets bigger and bigger until it covers everything. Telling the story of one little boy's bed-time anxieties, I'm not (very) afraid of the dark acknowledges that the dark can be scary, but reassures readers it can be other things too – it all depends on how you see it.

The little boy likes to tell everyone that he's not scared of anything. Poisonous snakes, giant, hairy spiders – nothing phases him! However, although he might say "no" when he's asked if he's afraid of the dark, he's actually thinking "not very..."

Because once the lights go off, he starts to notice things he hadn't seen before. Monster-y shapes on the wall, something creeping across the floor... but, once the lights go back on, he realises that there was nothing scary there at all! Just a shadows of his toys and a tangle of clothes on the floor.

Nobody knows about the little boy's worries but him, so he's nervous when his dad takes him on a camping trip. Does he dare switch off his light? By doing so, he discovers the most magical thing of all...

A wonderful combination of lovely illustration and lyrical but accessible writing, we love the clever design of this book. Lots of intricate, laser-cut holes give the illusion of scary things lurking in the dark. However, upon turning the page, you realise that these things aren't frightening at all – it's just the dark making the familiar look unfamiliar!

Many children are afraid of the dark, and the worry caused can quickly disrupt bed time routines and sleeping habits. This gorgeous book not only emphasises all of the good things about night time, but also provides tips and advice through its wonderful narrative. From using a night-light to confiding in a trusted grown-up, young readers are reminded that it's OK to be scared when the lights go out.

A brilliantly interactive read, I'm not (very) afraid of the dark is the perfect bed-time pick to be shared together. This beautiful book is one to treasure.

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Tags:book of the month