Expected publication: August 22nd 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Format read: Finished copy, via publisher
In I'm Scared, Chilly the snowflake is a real worrywart. He is scared of everything! The reassuring narrator in this very simple, comic book-style board book gently shows Chilly that sometimes, to have fun, it is important to face your fears and try something new!
Matthew and Jennifer L. Holm are the bestselling creators of Babymouse and Squish, and Jennifer is the author of novels such as The Fourteenth Goldfish. The Eisner Award-winning siblings use panel frames, speech balloons, and thought bubbles to teach children how to read a story. Be sure to look for the other My First Comics books: I'm Grumpy, I'm Sunny!, and I'm Silly!
(Like, literally every. age. All I need is some adult fiction from the two of them, and I’ll be set!)
In their latest First Comics installment, we’re introduced to Chilly the Snowflake. Chilly is scared of almost everything, and wants to stay inside. But Chilly is encouraged to meet new friends, and finds out the outdoors and new friendships, are not so bad after all.
There are two things to admire about this book: first, Jennifer and Matthew are careful to validate Chilly feeling scared about the world. There’s never any judgement; instead, it’s who Chilly is. This is a very important distinction for young readers, particularly those who may be learning to understand mental health challenges for the first time.
Jennifer and Matthew are also careful to emphasize though, that sometimes, things may just seem scary because it hasn’t been tried. Chilly is initially very nervous to make friends, but as soon as Chilly reaches out, Chilly quickly realizes it’s not to bad. This is also a key life lesson that many would benefit from learning from, and will have an impact on readers, young and old alike.
As always, the art is streamlined and spot on. This is an addition to an excellent collection. Highly recommend, full stop.