The Light in My Hands

Children - Preschool
52 Pages
Reviewed on 01/04/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

The Light in My Hands by Jim West is the perfect bedtime story to quell any fear of the dark. It’s bedtime and Maya knows it’s time to go to sleep but there’s one big problem: she’s afraid of the dark! Every time the light goes out for the night, she is scared of the dark. Who knows how many creepy crawlies are lurking around her room that she can’t see? Even her father’s bedtime stories don’t make her fears go away. To help her conquer these, he teaches her a special trick. He captures light from the stars and puts it in her hands while she sleeps. But there’s a catch: she can’t let go and she can’t peek at the light. When she wakes up, she discovers that she’s done just that but her father teaches her a valuable lesson that helps soothe her worries.

The story is clever in that it breaks down what Maya is afraid of. She is not simply afraid of the dark but rather the creepy crawlies that could be in the dark. This creates an engaging conversation starter that will help children understand precisely what they fear. The story provides a unique tool for conquering this fear and shows the bond between child and parent as her dad devises a way to help her feel safe and comforted. This dynamic is endearing and wholesome, capturing the genuine love and protection of a father. The story reads as a source of reassurance that will set children’s minds at ease and would make a wonderful addition to a bedtime routine. Jim West creates a useful tool for parents to engage in conversations with children about their fears and perhaps give them a way to lessen them. The illustrations by Jill Leonard give the story’s tone much charm with gentle details and imagery that captures the fear of a child such as shadowy monsters. The Light in My Hands is highly recommended to parents as a great resource to discuss children's fears.

Rosie Malezer

The Light In My Hands is a children's book written by Jim West and illustrated by Jill Leonard. Young Maya hated bedtime as she was afraid of the dark. Things hide in the dark, and she shivers as she pictures the monsters, spiders, and creepy crawlies in her imagination. One night after her father reads a story and kisses her goodnight, the lights are turned out. Maya pleads for the lights to stay on, which her father refuses, but he tells her that if she is good, he can put the light from the stars in her hands. Reaching outside for light, Maya's father carefully passes it to Maya, telling her not to peek and let the light escape. Feeling braver, Maya falls asleep but panics when the light is gone in the morning. Her father tells her that the sun is also a star and that she is now protected both day and night. From that day onward, every time Maya sees the light, she remembers how much her father loves her.

This tale truly tugged at my heartstrings. Many children have a fear of the dark, just as Maya did, and are afraid of what is in the closet, what is under the bed, or even what lurks outside their window at night. Finding something that is with Maya both day and night was a genius thing to do in finding a safety blanket, giving the child bravery from within her own heart. Trusting that the light will protect her always not only showed her that she is safe, but that her father's love will always be with her. I very much enjoyed Jim West's well-written tale, The Light In My Hands, which shows a child her true inner strength. I recommend it highly to young readers aged five years and over.

Pikasho Deka

Gift your child the perfect bedtime story this holiday season with Jim West's The Light in My Hands. Maya is a little girl who has always been afraid of the dark. She fears monsters, spiders, and creepy crawlies might come out at night to do her harm. So her daddy tells her a bedtime story every night before tucking her in and kissing her goodnight. When Maya shares her fears with her daddy, he shows her the starry sky and captures the light coming out of the stars in Maya's hands, telling her to keep her hands closed so as not to lose the light. And soon, Maya fell asleep before she knew it. The next morning, Maya learns the importance of the sun and how sunlight differs from starlight.

Every kid needs a bedtime story, and there couldn't be a more suitable book for children to read before they sleep than The Light in My Hands. This picture book comes with some imaginative illustrations by Jill Leonard, who uses vibrant colors to breathe life into the characters, making the reading experience all the more fun. Author Jim West presents the story in a concise and easily accessible style that will appeal to youngsters and keep their attention. The tale is inspired by Jailynn Still's real-life childhood experiences, which are brilliantly captured through the artwork. Apart from the engaging story, the book also offers a few useful nuggets of wisdom about the sun and the stars. This is the best kind of book to introduce your child to reading.