A children’s picture book that also functions as an adult guide for soothing children’s fears.
Grams (The Failed Experiment, 2018), a former high school economics teacher, unusually opens this picture book with an unillustrated, three-page introduction instructing adults on ways to help young children work through typical anxieties. The stories that follow read like mini-plays, featuring dialogue between the author and his granddaughter. Each tale covers a single fear and is divided into two pages: one for text, and the other for illustration. The 10 stories are rather text-heavy, and the dialogue format may make them awkward for solo reading by a beginner. As a result, adults might want to consider breaking the book into a number of read-aloud sessions, with each one covering one or two fears in a sitting, including additional discussion. Young children will likely enjoy the colorful pen-and-ink art by debut illustrator German, Grams’ granddaughter, whose work shows the promise of great skill to come; in “Monsters under the Bed,” for example, she ably illustrates a girl’s anxiety and a grandfather’s surprise as red, blue, and purple clawed sea creatures invade the youngster’s bedroom.
A good idea for a kids’ book, but the large amount of text may be overwhelming for a very young audience.