Book’s scared. Book likes his spot on Library’s shelf. It’s safe. He knows what’s happening and where everything is but he wonders if he is actually missing out on something because he’s too scared to be brave.
Title: Scaredy Book
Author: Devon Sillett
Illustrator: Cara King
ISBN: 9781925335682 Language: English
Themes: books, courage
What’s it about?
Book loves where he lives on a shelf in the Library. He loves his spot so much but as he watches other books come and go he wonders if perhaps there is a world out there to get to know, learn about, and have fun in.
Book and Library – this book keeps the characters simple and easy to make connections with. The text is mainly simple sentences and they ‘move’ (placement) to suit the narration. While Emily (a girl) is the character who gets Book going on his first adventure, this book also shows boys enjoying reading. The illustrations are very pastel-shaded, soft, and warm – they really are lovely.
A book about a book – sorry, when you’ve been sick with the flu for 3 weeks along with your kids it’s the small things that make you giggle! But yes, this is indeed a book about Book. When I first saw the cover for this I was a little lukewarm about it; Scaredy Book sounded a little too similar to “scaredy cat” but maybe that was the intention?
Anyway, having a library technician background I really love to see honest books about books. The poor books that come back damaged (a book on a stretcher looking worse for wear) and the books that just never return (a missing poster with the ‘C’ book) are an accurate look at what you see day in and out. Of course, it does also show about the books who go on adventures and see many wonderful things. If I was working in a library then I would be purchasing this one…well, right now. It is an ideal book to use at the beginning of the year particularly with the younger grades. I know from experience my kids can be pretty rough with their books at times but also be super loving – particularly if it’s a favourite.
This book though isn’t just about treating books well – there is a sub-theme of courage even when you’re feeling scared. It’s about being brave enough to take a step towards trying something new – even if it means finding a kindred spirit to help you do this (in Book’s case this is Emma). For the intended age I think this book would open up a lot of discussion about when students might have been scared/hesitant to try something new, to set a goal to try something new for the term and then reflect on the outcome later in the year.
The softness of the illustrations I feel also adds a sense of warmth to the book. It makes it less confrontational – this book is wanting to be read (not be scared) – and while I wasn’t sure about the softness to begin with by the time I had finished reading it I had changed my mind.
My kids were especially keen on this book. Our bedtime routine allows both my kids to chose 2 books to have read to them (so 4 in total each night). Now we have a large selection of books at home and let’s not mention the books they borrow from the local library but the day this one arrived they both wanted it read – so it got read once for my daughter, once for my son – and a third time because my son really wanted it read again. Things I noticed they loved about the book: the missing book page (where ‘C’ is missing) – they loved singing the alphabet song while pointing at each book cover; the aeroplane and the photography book (two things my son adores); my daughter liked Emma because she was always with a book (definitely a Text-to-Self connection for her!); and the injured book – that was a great discussion about why we need to treat books with care.
Overall, I loved it and my kids do too – I have a feeling this one will be read a lot over the coming months. Definitely one for the classroom or homeschooling library.
Special thanks to EK Books for the advance reader copy.