This is my first time reviewing a children’s book on ReadLately, which is surprising, since I have a 5-year-old and read picture books to her constantly. When this book came up as a tour option for TLC, I jumped on it, wanting to expose my daughter to a good concept and important conversation. This book won a Mom’s Choice Award and, as a Fundamentale, deals with issues kids are commonly concerned about. In this one, it’s their fear of the dark.
Brady is a bat who should be used to the dark but isn’t. As his friends sleep in their caves during the day, he longs for the light of the sun, anxious to play. Everything about the night terrifies him – all of the creepy, crawly creatures and the general shroud that makes seeing impossible. He remains awake during the day and at night, when the bats are up and about, he feels like crying – either because he misses the sun, as my daughter thinks, or because he’s just very, very tired. Brady needs to figure out a solution and fast.
It comes in the form of fireflies – small, glowing and happily illuminating. They become Brady’s friends and hang onto his ears as he takes them to his cave. It’s a win-win situation: Brady is finally able to sleep thanks to the light they emit and the fireflies rejoice as they shine in the darkness.
This is the sort of book that leaves you with a happy, glowing feeling upon finishing – perhaps the fireflies had some influence! The fact that both sides find happiness in the end and are able to use their respective fears and strengths to bring about that occurrence is kind of ingenious.
Practically, this book encourages a discussion that goes beyond fear, one that demands a solution be sought – one that works. Brady doesn’t remain stuck in his trepidation of the night – he goes out and finds the light. How might other fearful children do the same? For my daughter, it’s turning on her closet light and propping open the door so that a fraction of light comes through. For others it may be a literal nightlight, of which there’s tons of consumer variety. Regardless of the accommodation, what’s important is the conversation and what came come of it: brave children who are no longer fear-laden. Kudos to Brian Barlics for getting the dialogue started!
Many thanks to Black Rose Writing and TLC Book Tours for my review copy!