A child banishes anxious thoughts in a series of positive visualizations in this rhyming tale by Hughes (Kasey & Ivy, 2018, etc.).
The book’s narrator—a cartoonishly illustrated pear-shaped girl with pale skin and brown hair—is plagued by a “creepy-crawly” thought, which manifests as a cloudy, purple creature that hovers between her and the sun. The girl explains that this thought invites friends at night, which only makes matters worse. Tired of their interference, the girl takes action, planning ways to get rid of such ideas, such as flushing them down a toilet, throwing them into a fireplace, feeding them to fish, or blowing them into balloons and sending them into outer space. By singing and thinking happy thoughts, she shoos the negative notions away. Although Hughes’ tale offers no concrete, realistic suggestions for banishing anxiety, young readers may giggle at the narrator’s ideas, which could help them combat their own fears. The rhymes feel natural and use approachable vocabulary, and although some lines scan a little longer than others, the overall rhythm is consistent. Rabby’s humorous, mixed-media illustrations—which feature cartoon characters, painterly backgrounds, and innovative erasing of slithery, black outlines—will generate enough smiles to put creepy-crawlies on the run.
A silly picture book that offers readers humor to confront anxieties.