Saturday, 27 July 2019

What we're reading - Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Melanie Watt

Dylan has quite a few fears, one or two he picked up on from me and Simon like wasps or spiders but he has a very long list. We've been encouraging him to try to see what happens when he faces them. It's easier said than done especially when they can be things like a fear of flies! When we had been scouring the shelves of a charity shop a few weeks ago we spied a selection of books called Scaredy Squirrel. What had we got to loose with seeing if they'd help.

Dylan immediately wanted to read one particular Scaredy Squirrel book and it was Scaredy Squirrel at night by Melanie Watt. I think this particular Scaredy squirrel resonated with Dylan. A fair few of his fears seem to appear suddenly at bed time and result in utter meltdown.

Scaredy Squirrel is just that he's afraid of pretty much everything and at night time he's especially afraid of bad dreams! Particularly ones with creatures in them like vampire bats and unicorns. His solution is to never sleep and keep himself busy all night long. He makes a list and for night after night he doesn't sleep. Pretty soon Scaredy Squirrel feels the effects of getting no sleep.

One night he reads his horoscope and finds all his dreams will come true at midnight, He panics and comes up with an action plan with everything he needs to stay safe from the creates that could come for him!

It doesn't really go to plan when racoon's show up and Scaredy Squirrel tries to scare them away but ends up hitting in all his own traps. In the end he plays dead but falls asleep and learns that sleeping doesn't mean you'll have bad dreams.

The story paired up with the fun and clear illustrations of the book which clearly show the process Scaredy Squirrel is following. I think the bright illustrations really help to engage children and show clearly what he is doing in each stage.

Dylan was instantly in love with Scaredy Squirrel and it's all we read for over a week! Scaredy's irrational fears all for no real reason has really helped Dylan to see that sometimes there is very little to be afraid of. He adores how Scaredy Squirrel prepares for the worst and put his plans into action. Reading through Scaredy Squirrel's lists is fun as we try to guess what he uses each strange item for.

For me I really like that it's never as bad as Scaredy Squirrel thinks and actually even though his plan goes wrong it's the thing he isn't expecting that changes his whole experience. It's this lesson that I hope Dylan is picking up on. That being afraid of something and always expecting it to happen means he can't see the adventures too.

I think that the whole Scaredy Squirrel series by Melanie Watt is great for children with fears. This particular book of Scaredy Squirrel at Night is perfect for children after bad dreams or if they are afraid at night time. He's such a lovable character and I must admit even I find him quite funny!

You can purchase Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Melanie Watt from £6.32.


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