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Reviewed by Tricia Gardella for Readers' Favorite
Noel Foy has created an excellent title for this engaging story that changes Max’s life, maybe forever. One day, Max and his friends are having a great time playing Max’s favorite game, Hide and Seek. Unfortunately, the perfect place Max chooses to hide is not so perfect when bees defend their domain, leaving poor Max covered in bee stings. From then on, when his friends invite him out to play, Max always has an excuse handy for why he can’t go. Guilt builds. Max begins avoiding his friends altogether. But it’s not his fault he can’t go outside. Is it? One day Max is watching his big brother Chris. Chris is very good at teaching their dog new tricks, and Max soon wonders if Chris can teach people not to be scared. Chris confesses that he was once afraid of dogs. Max doesn’t believe him. That’s when Chris shares his secret. But can Max ever grow into being ABC Worry Free?
Fear is a natural human safeguard. In terms easy for a child to understand, Noel Foy demonstrates what uncontrolled fear can do to yourself and your relationships with friends and family. The way this story is woven makes it an excellent tool for children who have trouble controlling their stress. Early on, we see the ups. Max runs free, having a grand time with his friends. Then after his run-in with bees, we see more and more downs, being stuck in the house, having no interaction with his friends, and building guilt. That’s when Foy introduces her clever remedy. All you have to remember is ABC to be completely worry-free. Almost. What could be easier than that for early readers to learn their A B C's? Bright and charming illustrations carry the story along. Teachers will love the helpful suggestions at the end of this story.