Like a lot of kids, Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark is a hard thing to be afraid of because it lives right where kids are. You can have a night light, of course, but the dark, the dark still lurks in the corners.
The dark lived in the same house as Laszlo, a big place with a creaky roof, smooth, cold windows, and several sets of stairs. Sometimes the dark hid in the closet. Sometimes it sat behind the shower curtain. But mostly it spent its time in the basement.
In this story, The Dark is a character, just like Laszlo. It hangs out in all the places you would expect The Dark to like; the closet, behind doors, under the bed. Laszlo is a smart kid. He decides to face his fear. Armed with a flashlight, he goes to visit The Dark. When he does, he finds out that like a lot of unknown things, The Dark isn’t so bad. In fact, The Dark is pretty nice. It is especially nice when you close your eyes to go to sleep. A great book for re-imagining The Dark as a friend instead of something scary. Author: Lemony Snicket
One of the best things about the dark is stars…and also meteors! Watching meteor showers is a great way to appreciate the dark and there is a good one coming up that peaks in a few days. It is the Perseid Meteor Shower.
From NASA: Perseids
Peak Activity: Aug 11 – Aug 13, 2015
Peak Activity Meteor Count: Up to 100 meteors per hour
More books about facing up to fears from big bears to nightmares to monsters:
Sam doesn’t talk much. He likes trucks and dogs but none of the kids in his class know that. The thought of show-and-tell at school sends Sam into a panic fueled tummy ache. What if he says something dumb? What if he says the wrong words? What if he cries, or worse, throws up?!!
Other kids take turns before Sam. None of them cry or throw up. No one laughs at them either, so Sam works up the courage to try show-and-tell himself. The illustration of Sam’s friends sitting on the rug eagerly waiting to hear what he has to say is priceless. Mostly, friends just want to be your friends. No one is waiting for Sam to mess up – they want to know what his cool show-and-tell thing is!
Next time, show-and-tell is easier for Sam because that’s how shy works…practice helps make handling it easier. I should know. I routinely threw up in the morning in elementary school during the first fear fueled weeks of school. Getting used to school can be hard! I did not like at all being expected to speak in front of the class. Show-and-tell? No, thank-you! All of that lasted until about fifth grade. I guess that was finally enough practice! If Sam and I can practice, your child can too! Author: Beth Bracken
If you have a shy child here are some websites that might give you ideas to help your child practice. Practice really does help.
Here are some more books like Sam’s; stories about other kids who are also shy. Knowing a friend understands, even an imaginary book friend, helps too!
||Disappearing Desmond – Desmond is so skilled at disappearing that sometimes even his teacher cannot find him but when he meets Gloria, a new student at school, his attitude slowly changes.
||Shrinking Violet – Violet, who is very shy and hates for anyone to look at her in school, finally comes out of her shell when she is cast in a play about the solar system and saves the production from disaster.
||Louder Lili – Lili is so shy that her voice is never heard in class until the day a good friend needs her help.
||The Boys – A shy boy, seeking the courage to play baseball with the other children in a park, is coaxed out of his shell by some “old timers” sitting nearby who, in turn, discover they are still in the game.