El Cucuy Is Scared, Too!

Abrams. Jul. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781419744457.
PreS-Gr 2–Ramón and El Cucuy share a bedroom, with El Cucuy making his home in a small cactus pot. These two unusual roommates begin to share their fears with one another. Ramón wonders whether his new school will be different from his old one. What about the students there, will they be friendly? El Cucuy wonders whether there will be enough hiding spots for him. What if he can’t find a small, quiet space? Ramón and El Cucuy share memories of what life was like before—how Ramón was brave and able to ignore El Cucuy with a song, and how El Cucuy made his eyes glow red and howled in the night. Fun, colorful illustrations bring to life a legendary creature from Latin American folklore, and paint fears and worries in a different light. The short text, mostly a conversation between the boy and El Cucuy, calmly explores the worries that come with changes, such as moving to a new city, starting at a new school, and making new friends. A unique picture book featuring two very unlikely friends who show young readers the importance of supporting one another and discover that everyone has fears of their own.
VERDICT A sweet choice for most picture book collections.

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