Nighttime Fantasy
by Suzanne M. Shields

"When I lay me down to sleep, monsters in my room do creep. Some are large and some are small, on the ceiling, on my wall."

This colorful story, both in the tale itself and the delightful artwork, examines the fears children often have, especially when alone in bed. Beginning with a short, rhyming poem, the book then explains the story with the illustrations for each line of the poem. The child in the book has terrors that are only eased by his mother, who is there to soothe him whenever he needs such succor. A very quick read, this book provides a teaching story of the love of a child from a beloved parent. By sharing the scary pictures of the monsters, it also teaches that these monsters really don't live in the child's bedroom but only in their imagination and fear, a fear that is overcome by feelings of safety.

In this familiar scenario of creepy night times, the book's illustrations depict the horrible beasts that live in the fantasy life of a small child. But they also reveal his charming bedroom with his cat and the importance of his mother, who comforts him. Every child needs a loved one who understands scary things and how to ease such terror. It is a story of a mother and a child, without another parental figure in the picture, which may be especially beneficial for children in a one-adult household. The tale is one of trust, for the boy never has such awful moments when he slips into bed with his mother. The book is obviously intended for very young children as the poem is short, and the story is mostly taught through the artwork. By sharing the descriptive pictures of the monsters, the poem helps ease the typical nightmares of childhood.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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