Monday, October 1, 2018

Review: Scared of the Dark by Caroline L Thornton

by Caroline L Thornton 
Illustrated by Elisa Boldrin
Picture Book
32 pages

Shadows dance on your wall 
Curtains flap in the breeze
Floorboards squeak in the hall
The wind whips through the trees
The dark can be scary, especially when you don't know what you're afraid of. But you're not alone, most of us have felt scared at night and the dark's not actually so bad. Discover some of the reasons for our fear, meet friendly animals who play in the night and learn to think of the dark in a new way. Oh and just in case some monsters are'll be reminded that you're braver than you may think! 


Through rhyme and lovely illustrations, this book takes young readers' fear of the dark and shows that all those things which go bump in the night might not be quite as scary as they seem.

The minute the first page is opened, it's clear that this is a book created from the heart. The four line rhymes on each page are for the most part beautifully written, bringing the words to life in a way young readers can identify with. This book takes the fear of the dark seriously and then, with logical explanation, shows that there's nothing really scary about the dark after all. The reasoning is a little different than often seen in children books; it's very down to earth, logical, and, for the most part, easy to understand. All the while, this book never talks down to the kids or makes their fears seem silly. 

The illustrations are a treat. The author has chosen scenes from various time periods, styles and cultures, giving the book a wonderful flare of diversity. There's nothing creepy in these pages, but rather a warmth of security and understanding. The illustrations are a joy to glance through all on their own--a bit like an art gallery--and invite the reader to gaze through them again and again. If they were a little bigger, they'd be even easier to enjoy.

Summed up, this is a lovely picture book with lots of warmth and understanding. Although it can't erase the fear of the dark completely, it offers some great thoughts and might help kids understand their fear just a little bit better than before. 

And here she is...

I am Scottish, originally from Carnoustie on the East coast and now living in Glasgow.
I used to write a lot when I was younger but didn't write for a long time after that.  In 2014 the British charity OCD:UK advertised that they were looking for poetry submissions for their awareness campaign.  This prompted my first piece of writing in years and from there I started writing rhyming picture books for children.​  I love movies, quirky tv shows, animals and history.

Thoughts about the book!
Scared of the Dark was inspired by my own fear of the dark as a child and I’m still not a big fan of it now!  I wanted to write a book that I feel would have helped me and I wanted to explain that some of our fears have evolved from the early experiences of our ancestors.

I was aware while writing Scared of the Dark that unfortunately not all children are safe in their beds and that for some children monsters are in fact real.  I have tried to include a message to these children telling them to get help while attempting to do it in a way that will be taken at face value by other children and won’t alert them to these issues.

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