McPhail, David

I Feel Safe

(2) PS A young girl awakes to the sound of thunder and is afraid. Then, "My mother comes in to comfort me. And I feel safe." So begins the calm problem-and-solution pattern of a family experiencing a dark and stormy night. When lightning frightens the child, her father hugs her and declares, "It's okay to be scared sometimes." Grandmother lights candles when the power fails. Grandfather plays guitar for the family to sing along during their "storm party," complete with biscuits and hot cocoa. When the family pets (Frankie the dog and JoJo the cat) go missing, the entire family searches for them--but it is ultimately up to the girl to do what she can to ensure they feel that "they are safe now." Alternating between double-page spreads and vignettes, McPhail makes expert use of ink and watercolors in cool tones to bring a sense of peacefulness to the story. Various hairstyles and features are shown within this Black-presenting family. The story ends with a question to the reader: "What makes you feel safe?" A soothing read for young children and their caregivers, and an opportunity to discuss uncertainty, fear, and solutions for comfort.


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