Disclosure: I received a copy of When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid book in exchange for reading it with my daughters and giving an honest review.
It’s all too easy to get sucked into fear once the lights go out, isn’t it? As a little girl, I used to sneak into my parents’ bed (for way longer than I care to admit) because I was afraid of the dark. I was REALLY afraid of the dark. I always heard something – something scratching at the screen on my window, someone opening a door, a glass breaking, someone whispering, or footsteps in the hall.
And, of course, it was all in my giant imagination. Well, except for that one time. The time when I actually did hear voices outside my window. It turns out there was a man in psychiatric distress trying to break into my dad’s car and little ole’ me heard the whole thing going down. But my parents didn’t believe me and told me to go back to bed. I was like the boy who cried wolf. But that is another story for another day.
Even today, my imagination still gets carried away at night.
When I saw an Insta friend recently review a book centered on a child taking charge of his own fears of the dark, I was intrigued. I was interested because of my scaredy cat past (and present), but also because Scooter Britches, 4, has recently started displaying a fear of the dark – monsters in her closet, shadows on the wall, etc.
I was delighted when Michael Cascio, the author of When I Was a Child: I was Always Afraid, soon contacted me about doing a book review, as well.
SB and Little One, 2, were so excited after arriving home from last week’s daffodil festival to find the package on our doorstep.
In typical SB and LO fashion, they wanted to read the book immediately. So, we did.
And then they wanted to read it again that night – and the next night.
At only two-years-old, LO doesn’t understand the message in many of the story books we read. However, she does enjoy looking at the pictures. And When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid captured her attention with its simple yet expressive art, illustrated by Bentley Wong. She pointed out images on the pages and said the vocabulary words that went along with the pages.
For SB, the wording was simple and interesting in its rhythmic nature. She seemed to follow everything that was happening and by the third reading, she jumped in and “read” (recited from memory) what was happening on some of the pages.
She even animated a few pages.
The boy in the story is always afraid once the lights go out – afraid of things under his bed, outside his window, and in his basement. Ultimately, his dad teaches him to face his fears by showing him there is nothing to be afraid of. Instead of just telling his son there is nothing to be afraid of, the father takes the extra step in showing him, thereby teaching him there is power in facing things himself. The boy learns he is bigger than his own imagination.
For children, there is a great message in this book: it is up to us to face our fears and overpower them.
For parents, there is a good reminder in this book: it is up to us to teach our children to face their fears rather than enabling them to submit to them.
According to the author, Michael Cascio, he wrote the story based on his own experiences as a child. His own father taught him to face his fears of the dark, which prompted Cascio to write this book.
I would recommend When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid to any child or parent. The age recommendation is for children ages 4-8. The book can be ordered through Amazon.
Linking up our review of When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid at these link ups:
Too Cute Tuesday (Tuesdays)
Twinkly Tuesdays (Tuesdays)
Inspire Me Wednesday (Wednesdays)