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I FEEL SAFE by David McPhail


by David McPhail ; illustrated by David McPhail

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-8234-5072-5
Publisher: Holiday House

A loving Black family snuggles in close during a storm.

Loud thunder rumbles through the sky. A youngster with an Afro and arms splayed wide jumps in fright. Mother rushes in to give a comforting squeeze. The first-person narrator contentedly sighs, “And I feel safe.” As the lightning flashes, the youngster’s father acknowledges, “It’s okay to be scared sometimes.” One more reassuring hug, and the narrator repeats, “And I feel safe.” Grandma lights candles when the lights go out, and Grandpa strums the guitar. Biscuits and hot cocoa reinforce feelings of warmth and security. But where are the pets? They are hiding from the storm, and it is now the child’s turn to help others feel safe. McPhail sets the vignettes against pale lilac and teal backdrops, softening the edges of the frames with a fuzzy, airbrushed effect. The refrain is calm and grounding, while the first-person point of view conveys closeness. McPhail shifts the perspective to the reader at the end, once all is quiet and everyone is tucked in bed, asking, “What makes you feel safe?" (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Storms can be scary, but this story wraps you in a warm hug.

(Picture book. 3-6)