Roaring Brook. Oct. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250753199.
PreS-Gr 1–A girl with deep black eyes, a short black bob, and light tan skin keeps watch with her black dog over a bustling city from the window of her apartment, high in the sky. In striped pajamas, having brushed her teeth, she is sleepy. Then, in the darkness, she spies a spider, and the thought of sleep vanishes from her mind. She thinks about ways to vanquish the spider: lasso, rain spout, smashing it. Nothing suits her, despite the ever greater scale of her plans (a rocket, a crane). When she captures it under a glass, she realizes that it is more frightened of her than she is of it. A stand-off is achieved, as it spins a web outside her bedroom, and she and her dog go to sleep. Lessons for catch and release of bugs are included in DeRoma’s charming illustrations, which throw away all laws of perspective as the drama unfolds. The pacing is pitch-perfect as hysteria gives way to reason, compassion, and recognition of a better way.
VERDICT Where there is fear, a deep breath seems to help in this comic lesson in kindness and conquering the dark; preschoolers will love it.

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