Thursday, 9 May 2013

Bella and Monty in "A Hairy Scary Night" by Alex T. Smith (Hodder Children's Books)

Teaching children to be brave and overcome their fears isn't easy so it's nice to see a book that uses two brilliant animal characters to do just that.

Bella Bones (a rather cute little dog) and Monty Mittens (a rather fearful and highly strung cat) are best friends. They spend ever moment they can together, and play in the sunshine without a care in the world. But what happens at night, when darkness creeps into Monty's room and he gets scared?

Bella decides to help - and decides the best way to overcome a fear of the dark at bedtime would be to organise a sleepover. Armed with midnight snacks, cuddly teddies and torches, Bella and Monty settle down for a hairy, scary night! Eeeek!

Most children will, at some stage, be anxious or scared about the dark (Charlotte definitely still is, and always insists that her door is left open a crack - and her nightlight is switched on). Alex's fantastic little book shows how friendship can overcome fear - even of the darkest night. Lovingly drawn in Alex's trademark bold and brilliant style, chock full of the little details that make his books so endearing, we look forward to reading more Bella and Monty adventures really soon.

Charlotte's best bit: Bella's cute dress sense and ever-present 'tie bows' (as Charlotte calls them)

Daddy's favourite bit: A gently endearing and very nicely written (and drawn) way of helping children overcome fear and anxiety. Love Bella and Monty!