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Reviewed by Kristine Zimmerman for Readers' Favorite
Many kids fear monsters in the night, but in Cindi Handley Goodeaux’s book, Ishkabibble Unafraid, there is a twist. The story is told from the perspective of Ishkabibble who happens to be, you guessed it, a monster. His friends have warned him about the ‘hue-mans’ who will eat them and hide everywhere. His mother assures him that his friends are just telling stories and ‘hue-mans’ don’t really exist. Ishkabibble gets back into bed with his scare bear and soon hears the noise from his closet again. This time he bravely goes to explore what it is. He ends up in the room of a little boy, who is just as scared of monsters. They share the stories they’ve heard with each other and end up realizing that they can be friends.
Monster stories are always popular with kids. Some kids relish being a little bit scared, and others need reassurance that the noises they hear in the night won’t hurt them. Ishkabibble Unafraid is a perfect story to share with kids who are afraid of noises at night. Jack Foster has depicted Ishkabibble as a one-eyed, green furry monster with colorful horns and a big goofy grin. His illustrations are full of wonderful details including a little mouse who appears throughout the story. Cindi Handley Goodeaux has flipped the monster story by focusing on Ishkabibble and his worries, instead of the child’s fears. It’s a clever way for kids to see someone else’s perspective. Ishkabibble Unafraid will be a reassuring read for all those a little afraid of what lurks in the dark.