Afraid of the Light: A Story About Facing Your Fears

Bala Kids. Mar. 2021. 32p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781611808148.
PreS-Gr 1–This story follows a rabbit, Ditter von Dapp, who is stuck in a dark period, literally and figuratively, and who overcomes those difficulties to find the light. In an awkward rhyming text, Ditter is stuck in the darkness and drifting through life. After rediscovering the light, Ditter realizes how wonderful his home and life is. He then encourages readers to find the light in their own lives if they are also stuck. Despite failed attempts at nonsensical vocabulary in the manner of Dr. Seuss, this is an uplifting, reassuring book. In hues of blue to show the darkness of the room and in the rabbit’s mind, the illustrations also show the burrow as a complicated set of rooms and stairs filled with visual hidden treasures for young eyes to pore over. While it is difficult to balance a book for children on sadness or depression, this one also shows that there are moments when Ditter is content, and that feelings can change and shift. This book could be nicely paired with What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada.
VERDICT As children acknowledge and process the feelings the pandemic has raised, this might be a good addition to collections needing books on sadness and overcoming those feelings.

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