Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Sushree Mishra
Illustrator: Sanket Pethkar
Publisher: Karadi Tales Company
Although brave, Avi is afraid of the night. He draws a picture of the night monster and locks it in a box… but the monster returns. His sister Swati suggests he write to the monster…. and the monster replies! The night does not want to scare Avi. I am not a monster, he replies. The shadows are just playful, friend owl likes to sing, and the wind likes to make the curtains dance. The night is lonely in the box. He misses his friends and the stars and moon. So Avi takes the picture out of the box. And then he watches the beauties of the night that he had not realized before.
Most children can relate to being afraid of the dark. This story gives a good example of a child confronting his fears, in this case by writing, and overcoming those fears. It also shows children an example of a kind and supportive sibling relationship, as Avi confides in his older sister and she secretly corresponds with her brother as the night to help him not be afraid. The pictures are engaging, dark and muted, adding a dream-like quality to the book. They bring a sense of mystery and superbly illustrate Avi’s fear, stopping short of being scary. Some of the letters are only revealed by lifting flaps, adding reader interest and participation to the story. This is a great read-aloud book for younger children.