This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Ella McBella in the Dark, written by Laura Pells and illustrated by Peter Trimarco, is a children's book that follows the titular character as she faces her biggest fear. Ella is a happy, active child who enjoys the outdoors. She rides her bike to the park after school where she plays and immerses herself in the surrounding nature. As it comes close to the time when Ella needs to return home, she begins to feel anxiety, knowing that the setting sun is a precursor to her having to go to bed. She immediately fears the shadows that start to form as she races home, distracted momentarily by a wonderful dinner. When the lights are out, Ella is confronted by the sights and sounds that give rise to her fear of the dark, which ultimately leads to her seeing what it all really is and creating a safe space for herself to make each new bedtime less scary.
There are so many reasons why I love Ella McBella in the Dark, even as an adult. Laura Pells taps into an intense fear I suffered from myself as a child, which was so great that before even reaching the first grade I wore a sleeping mask to avoid “seeing” whatever was or was not there. Like Ella, I had to take steps to overcome this on my own, which is where this book really stands out in the crowded field of children's literature. We know that Ella obviously does not live by herself, as her mom snuggles her while reading Ella a bedtime story. But after the lights are out, there are no parents who swoop in and assure Ella it's all fine. There's no soothing. There's just Ella, her teddy bears, and her fear. Ella endeavors to find other things to divert her attention. She turns on lights and finds comfort in an environment she crafts on her own. The lyrical, rhythmic narrative is fun and engaging, and Peter Trimarco brings it all to life with sublime, full-color hand-drawn artistry. All of these brilliant elements come together perfectly to turn Ella, her fear, and her small acts of courage into a fantastic read. Very highly recommended.