Emily Grace and the What-Ifs: A Story for Children About Nighttime Fears

illus. by Regina Flath. 32p. Magination. 2016. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781433821066.
PreS-Gr 2—Emily Grace has trouble falling asleep. Her mind is busy pondering what-if questions, making her anxious. By noticing the familiar things in her room, stretching, relaxing, and imagining herself in her favorite place, she is able to soothe herself to sleep. The language used in this picture book is simple and appropriate. Emily Grace's nighttime worries are quite comical ("What if I become a pop star and make a million trillion dollars and then I lose it all?"). The nature of Emily Grace's concerns are probably less scary than what some children do worry about and would not contribute to any further anxiety. The visuals are nonthreatening, mainly employing a very dreamy purple to illustrate Emily's imagination. Back matter offers information from a psychologist describing in more depth the methods Emily Grace uses to calm herself—distraction, muscle relaxation, and imagery. The psychologist's explanations and strategies are enlightening without being overwhelming.
VERDICT A useful addition to a public library's parenting collection, or for school libraries where parents seek help regarding their children's behavior.

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