The scared book by Debra Tidball

cover image

Ill. by Kim Siew. Lothian, 2017. ISBN 9780734417503
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Fear, Monsters. This book is scared; scared of the monsters that lie inside the pages, and the book's story cannot be read, until all the monsters are gone.
So the reader is invited to get rid of the monster, and each funny page depicts a different type of monster with a different method of erasing them from the book.
Children will love the interactive nature of the book, the instructions on how to rid the book of the monsters, and the ease with which they can rid them.
Children are asked to scratch them away, then turning the page, to rub them out. Further on they are asked to blow them away, then to flick them away, to trample them with their fingers, to sake them away and finally to to fan them away. Once the monsters are all gone, then it is time to help the book relax, and the reader is asked to massage the book by following the spiral around to its centre. Only when all of this is done can the book then be relaxed enough to tell the story.
This book gives a message to the readers, that fears and monsters can be overcome, giving them techniques of making these fears go away, as well as asking them to concentrate on something else. Parents and teachers alike will be able to use this book to encourage children to express their fears, to recognise that they are not the only ones who have fears, and see how they can be erased from their lives with some simple techniques.
Illustrator Kim Siew is a Sydney based street artist and a look at her website will intrigue younger readers about her work, as well as understand the wonderful illustrations in this book.
Fran Knight